Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City

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Macmillan, Mar 21, 2006 - History - 384 pages
3 Reviews

A passionate and dramatic account of a year in the life of a city, when baseball and crime reigned supreme, and when several remarkable figures emerged to steer New York clear of one of its most harrowing periods.

By early 1977, the metropolis was in the grip of hysteria caused by a murderer dubbed "Son of Sam." And on a sweltering night in July, a citywide power outage touched off an orgy of looting and arson that led to the largest mass arrest in New York's history. As the turbulent year wore on, the city became absorbed in two epic battles: the fight between Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson and team manager Billy Martin, and the battle between Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo for the city's mayoralty. Buried beneath these parallel conflicts—one for the soul of baseball, the other for the soul of the city—was the subtext of race. The brash and confident Jackson took every black myth and threw it back in white America's face. Meanwhile, Koch and Cuomo ran bitterly negative campaigns that played upon urbanites' fears of soaring crime and falling municipal budgets.

These braided stories tell the history of a year that saw the opening of Studio 54, the evolution of punk rock, and the dawning of modern SoHo. As the pragmatist Koch defeated the visionary Cuomo and as Reggie Jackson finally rescued a team racked with dissension,1977 became a year of survival but also of hope.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the basis of the 2007 ESPN miniseries, starring John Turturro as Billy Martin, Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner, and Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Jackson.

 

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Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning: 1977, baseball, politics, and the battle for the soul of a city

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Mahler (contributing writer, New York Times Magazine ) points to New York's summer of 1977, when widespread looting and arson followed a crippling power outage, the Son of Sam killer continued his ... Read full review

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Simply the best book describing the chaos that was the New York Yankees in the 70s.

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
33
Section 3
44
Section 4
67
Section 5
72
Section 6
88
Section 7
114
Section 8
152
Section 14
214
Section 15
237
Section 16
257
Section 17
260
Section 18
299
Section 19
310
Section 20
315
Section 21
325

Section 9
164
Section 10
166
Section 11
175
Section 12
187
Section 13
206
Section 22
334
Section 23
341
Section 24
355
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About the author (2006)

Jonathan Mahler is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and son.

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