This best-selling, highly-acclaimed account is a hilarious but scathing baseball tell-all....
When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible....
Since their breakthrough championship season in 1923, when Yankee stadium opened, the New York Yankees have been baseball’s most successful, decorated, and colorful franchise....
Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930s. If they'd died then, history would scarcely remember them....
When first published in 1970, Ball Four stunned the sports world....
Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant....
In the 1950s a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the Gospel and Marxism....
Finally - a fascinating and authoritative biography of perhaps the most controversial player in baseball history, Ty Cobb....
Predictably Irrational meets Moneyball in ESPN veteran writer and statistical analyst Keith Law's iconoclastic look at the numbers game of baseball....
Tom Verducci reveals how Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon built, led, and inspired the Chicago Cubs team that broke the longest championship drought in sports....
In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure....
Huế 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam....
At a 1931 exhibition game in Tennessee, a 17-year-old pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back. Her name was Jackie Mitchell....
This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country....
Historian Sean McMeekin traces the events that ended Romanov rule, ushered the Bolsheviks into power, and introduced communism to the world....
From the bestselling author of Nixonland: a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous political and economic times of the 1970s....
Best-selling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost 300 interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakers’ epic Showtime era....
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.
A breezy, fun tour of 1970's NYC with a focus on the World Series Yankee team of that year. only issue was that it seemed to end abruptly, leaving questions about the fate of many of the key players in the drama.
For anyone interested in the decay NYC in the 1970s, I would also recommend Joe Flood's superb book "The Fires".
It's important for everyone -- particularly New Yorkers -- to understand that decade and to see how quickly poor decisions can destroy a city.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning the most enjoyable?
This is a good memory of NYC as it really was in 1977. I remember driving through the Bronx many times on my way to park by Yankee Stadium and walk across the track by the park on my way in never knowing if my car would be there when I returned! Sitting in the box seats smelling the weed being smoked throughout the stadium and watching Reggie, Billy and Munson go at it. I was oblivious about Son of Sam at the time which would have made me think twice now about what I did and where I went. The ConEd part was very interesting when they talked about the blackout.... Glad I was not there then! It was a very good book which was more history than baseball but very well done.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
It portrayed the true times.
Have you listened to any of David Ledoux’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
The film was made already but without the politics of the time.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
In the summer of 1977 I was a fresh HS graduate who didn't realize that his baseball career was doomed to meet a tragic end due to an accident of birth. My parents hadn't bequeathed me enough baseball talent to compete well on a higher level; this became apparent to me; as well as everyone else the following spring. The summer of 1977 however was a time for dreams and as I watched the season evolve I had my dreams, believing that I was only 1 step from the MLB level. In reality it was more like 101 steps from a mid sized college program to being the next Reggie Jackson.
It's been 39 years since the Summer of Sam, New York Blackout, and the return to the top of the New York Yankees but I still remember all the fallout from the Jackson signing, the Sport article, the dugout confrontation, and 'the straw that stirs the drink' quote by Reggie. Then the following year there was Billy Martin's drunken comment on Jackson and Steinbrenner; "one of them is a born liar and the other's convicted that ended the first of Martin's 5 stints as Yankees Manager. The author did a good job of highlighting the raging insecurities that drove Billy Martin to act out; this was particularly true when he was under the effects of alcohol.
The "Son of Sam" portion of the book was informative and I learned the details behind some of the generalities connected with the case. The amount of time and space devoted to did become distracting as the book came to a close, but it did end before it detracted from the overall tone of the book.
Unfortunately Mahler's extended coverage of the 1977 New York Mayoral race got very tedious before he finally made his way to the end of it. I did in fact skip the few chapters devoted to it and wondered if the author was old enough to have covered the race when it occurred.
This was a large part of why I gave the book only three stars. I also had an issue with yet another book on sports that was narrated by someone who had no familiarity with the pronunciation of a myriad of the ballplayers names. Evidently no one who makes their living reading sports books has ever paid any attention to sports prior the their assignment. At least David LeDoux seemed to have gotten some help with 1977 Yankees because their is little that is more distracting while listening to an audiobook than the constant mispronunciation of a name or a word.
If this book was only about baseball, or even baseball and "Son of Sam" I would have enjoyed it much more. The inclusion of the mayoral race, and the amount of time spent covering it makes the book impossible for me to recommend.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
The author does an amazing job of presenting the political, racial, economic, criminal, and entertainment landscape of New York City during its most pivotal time period. He made me feel like I was there. This is an excellent book that puts many things past and present into perspective.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in the history of New York City.
What other book might you compare Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning to and why?
Because it's episodic it reminded me of Bill Bryson's book on 1927. Both books follow multiple story lines and skip back and forth between them.
What about David Ledoux’s performance did you like?
His performance seemed to capture the absurdity of the and the seriousness simultaneously.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
New York City is finished. . . or is it?
Any additional comments?
If you saw the ESPN mini-series it was 80% about baseball. This book splits almost evenly among the 1977 mayoral election, the Son of Sam Killer, and the Yankees, with a commentary on the blackout for good measure.
Would you try another book from Jonathan Mahler and/or David Ledoux?
Would you be willing to try another book from Jonathan Mahler? Why or why not?
Possibly, but with a different narrator.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Ledoux?
Someone who can pronounce the word "American" (he says "Amaaaaarican" about a thousand times throughout the book and it drove me crazy). Plus he and/or his editor did a poor job, as he mispronounced a few names or just plain mis-read a few things (Vitas Gerulaitis, Kool Herc, etc).
What character would you cut from Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning?
The chapters on the mayoral race grew tiresome. Should have spent more time on the culture of the city (art, music, etc) and how it affected the mood of the time.
Excellent production and narration. You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this excellent book just have an interest in the politics, culture and sport of a fascinating city in tumultuous times. You couldn't make up the characters brought to life by the author. A very good audiobook.