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Boy, Oh, Boy

Posted By Alex Belth On October 18, 2010 @ 10:48 am In Arts and Culture,Bookish,Bronx Banter,Links: Biography,Links: Reviews,Yankees | Comments Disabled


Keith Olbermann reviewed Jane Leavy’s Mantle book in the New York Times Book Review [2] over the weekend. He liked it:

Leavy comes as close as perhaps anyone ever has to answering “What makes Mantle Mantle?” She transcends the familiarity of the subject, cuts through both the hero worship and the backlash of pedestal-wrecking in the late 20th century, treats evenly his belated sobriety and the controversial liver transplant (doomed mid-surgery by an oncologist’s discovery that the cancer had spread), and handles his infidelity with dispassion. Sophocles could have easily worked with a story like Mantle’s — the prominent figure, gifted and beloved, through his own flaws wasteful, given clarity too late to avoid his fate. Leavy spares us the classical tragedy even as she avoids the morality play. “The Last Boy” is something new in the history of the histories of the Mick. It is hard fact, reported by someone greatly skilled at that craft, assembled into an atypical biography by someone equally skilled at doing that, and presented so that the reader and not the author draws nearly all the conclusions.

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[1] Image: http://bronxbanter.arneson.name/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/john-dominis-yankee-mickey-mantle-flinging-his-batting-helmet-away-in-disgust-during-bad-day-at-bat.jpg

[2] Keith Olbermann reviewed Jane Leavy’s Mantle book in the New York Times Book Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/books/review/Olbermann-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=books

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