Mantle Rises Again

What more can be said about baseball great Mickey Mantle?

Apparently, quite a bit. Jane Leavy bases her biography The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood on more than 500 interviews with friends and family, teammates, and opponents.

Entertainment Weekly gives it a measly C+:

Leavy does little more than recount Mantle’s feats on the diamond and recycle the crude off-the-field behavior exposed in Jim Bouton’s Ball Four. There’s little new info; the Mick seen here is familiar, a brittle demigod who never saw himself as the golden boy his public demanded.

But lots more media is coming: the New York Times will feature the book in the sports section on October 12, the Wall St. Journal has a review scheduled for October 15, and Leavy will be interviewed on CBS-TV’s The Early Show on October 19 – with more to follow.

The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood
Jane Leavy
Retail Price: $27.99
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2010-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0060883529 / 9780060883522

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) makes many of the South African leader’s personal letters and diaries available for the first time, including journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s and diaries written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his 27 years of incarceration.

Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me by Condoleezza Rice (Delacorte) is a book for young readers about the childhood of the Secretary of State under George W. Bush. Lots of media coming on this one: On October 12, Rice will appear on NPR’s Morning Edition, the Today show and Larry King Live, while USA Today runs an interview. On October 13, she’ll be on the Early Show and Tavis Smiley’s radio show on PRI.

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) chronicles a series of adventures in Russia’s most desolate areas. It’s an Amazon Book of the Month, and was serialized in New Yorker this summer.

Dewey’s Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions by Vicki Myron (Dutton) includes nine stories about loving cats who improved their owner’s lives.

Great Migrations: Epic Animal Journeys by Karen Kostyal (National Georgraphic) arrives next week in anticipation of National Geographic’s seven-part TV series airing in November, narrated by Alec Baldwin. Half the librararies we checked had reserves in line with their modest orders, and the rest have not yet ordered it.

The Deeds of My Fathers: How My Grandfather and Father Built New York and Created the Tabloid World of Today by Paul David Pope (Philip Turner/Rowman & Littlefield) is about the family that made the National Enquirer into a tabloid giant.

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