The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey by Muhammad Ali (with Hana Yasmeen Ali) Bantam Books, $112 Muhammad Ali was 'the greatest', he liked to proclaim. He became a boxer because, in segregated Louisville, Kentucky, when a 12-year-old black kid's new bicycle is stolen by white kids, not even the police listen. And young Cassius Clay knew what prejudice was when he saw a picture in the newspapers of Emmett Till, a black kid his age, brutally lynched by two white men, who were acquitted of the crime. The Soul of a Butterfly is not about boxing, nor does it dwell on Ali's sporting achievements. The story here, bits and pieces recollected by a man waiting patiently for Parkinson's disease to finish the fight, is enlightening for its glimpses inside a complicated man, but also its simple, uncomplicated observations on a life well lived as best he knew how and recorded by his daughter, Hana. He talks of Islam and his faith and the importance of having a sense of purpose. Of his illness, he observes how people think he's deaf or unable to think and reason. 'One thing hasn't changed with time,' he says. 'I'm still pretty.'