Mike Tyson Lists the Philosophy & History Books He’s Reading These Days


Last year, Mike Tyson staged a one-man Broadway show, directed by Spike Lee, called “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth.” In November, the boxing legend published an autobiography by the same title. And now comes this: a short letter in The Wall Street Journal where Iron Mike lists the philosophy and history texts he's reading these days. The list includes:

  • The Quotable Kierkegaard, edited by Gordon Marino, "a collection of awesome quotes from that great Danish philosopher."

[Note: Nietzsche is his favorite philosopher. Says Tyson, "He's just insane. You have to have an IQ of at least 300 to truly understand him."

Why? Because "Alexander kept pushing forward. He didn't want to have to go home and be dominated by his mother." The same impulse drove Tyson to box his way out of Brownsville, Brooklyn. That's all covered in his autobiography.

What else is Tyson reading? Love letters. He mentions Napoleon's love letters to Josephine, and Virginia Woolf's letter to her husband before committing suicide. Tyson then quips "I don't really do any light reading, just deep, deep stuff. I'm not a light kind of guy."

Get more at The Wall Street Journal.

H/T Partially Examined Life

Related Content:

Iron Mike Tyson Sings “The Girl From Ipanema”

The Philosophy of Kierkegaard, the First Existentialist Philosopher, Revisited in 1984 Documentary

Walter Kaufmann’s Classic Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre (1960)

Download 90 Free Philosophy Courses and Start Living the Examined Life

by | Permalink | Comments (7) |

Support Open Culture

We're hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture's continued operation, please consider making a donation. We thank you!

Comments (7)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Anon says:

    u201cI donu2019t really do any light reading, just deep, deep stuff. Iu2019m not a light kind of guy.u201d Need I say more? That’s as pretentious as one can get. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, but having a high IQ doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to understand Nietzsche (nor a low one implies you won’t). Also “Quotable”… I mean if you are boasting of your “deep” readings you should read the real books, not fragments. I do realize the irony of calling him pretentious and writing in this tone.

    • anon2 says:

      But what’s so wrong with reading philosophical fragments?

      • Anon says:

        There’s nothing wrong with reading fragments, but reading fragments is not reading the books. Sometimes, if not read within the context quotes tend to be misinterpreted. I haven’t read the book, but to me “quotable” seems to be a little bit like “for dummies”. As he is a super deep and knowldegeable human being, it shouldn’t be a challenge to read the real books.

  • gerntrash says:

    It is offensive that this brute is even given the time of day. He is a convicted rapist and serial abuser of women.

  • Peter says:

    So what if he’s reading quotes? Try taking thousand of shots to your head for the next 30 years and reading anything, let alone Nietzsche or Kierkegaard. I love quotes, there is something beautiful about being able to say something profoundly insightful with few words. They become ‘quotes’ because they can stand alone, apart from the larger work. As for him being a convicted rapist– we don’t allow people to rehabilitate?

Leave a Reply