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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning:…
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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City (utgåvan 2006)

av Jonathan Mahler (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
437757,454 (3.99)10
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. -- Publishers description.… (mer)
Medlem:Grandville
Titel:Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City
Författare:Jonathan Mahler (Författare)
Info:Picador (2006), Edition: First Edition, 384 pages
Samlingar:Ska läsas
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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

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Wow what a great book this was. The Yankees, the blackout, the mayor race, Son of Sam, birth of punk, Disco, studio 54 and a city nearly brought to its knees.
Excellent writing, and limited author bias. ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 31, 2023 |
A readable, well-researched account of NYC in 1977, a year that NYC would probably rather forget. 1977: the year George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and Reggie Jackson kept sportswriters working overtime covering their many public disputes. The year a catastrophic power outage led to deadly riots and looting, destroying whole NYC neighborhoods. The year Studio 54 became a disco legend; SoHo, a quirky little artist community, was “discovered” (and arguably destroyed) by gentrification; and gays sunned themselves on abandoned peers, oblivious to the coming apocalypse of AIDS. The year Times Square gained notoriety not for its Broadway shows, but for its burgeoning, almost wholly unregulated porn industry. The year an obscure Australian media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch, bought the New York Post, marking the beginning of the Tabloid Era. The year rowdy Yankees fans regularly threw garbage on the field when they weren’t shouting obscenities at opposing teams or raining stale beer down on the heads of the patrons seated beneath them. The year a mysterious serial killer, dubbed Son of Sam, eluded a task force that at one point grew to include over 700 police officers. The year urban blight and housing projects created neighborhoods so bereft of hope, people torched their own unsellable houses for the insurance money. The year 3 living, breathing caricatures – Bella Abzug, Mario Cuomo and Abe Beame – battled for the right to run a city that was literally going up in smoke. The year NYC’s liberal legacy (rent-controlled apartments, generous municipal salaries and pensions, free higher education), already stretched and strained, finally broke. The year one of the greatest cities in the world skidded into fiscal chaos and officially declared bankruptcy.

In other words, Mahler has plenty of material to cover! And so he does, in the form of 67 brief, breezy, detail-filled chapters, replete with authentic eyewitness accounts and seeped in ‘70s “vibe”. Indeed, the narrative is so engaging and readable, I ended up enjoying parts of this I expected merely to endure. (Accounts of political campaigns and labor strikes not being my usually my cup of tea.)

Like many folks my age, I’ve spent much of my life trying to forget that I lived through this turbulent decade in America’s history. Yes, Mahler’s narrative serves as an unstinting, unapologetic reminder of everything that was awful about the 70s. But it also forced me to appreciate the remarkable adaptability and resiliency of American culture. Sure, we’ve faced challenges as a nation – poverty, racism, bigotry, violence, really bad music – but even in the depths of despair, our hope never completely fails, our empathy never entirely falters, our ingenuity endures, and we keeping finding ways to triumph over the forces of greed, intolerance, and general boorishness. A lesson I’m trying to take to heart as our country once against finds itself struggling to rise above our old, familiar demons. ( )
  Dorritt | Nov 25, 2016 |
1977 was a pivotal year for New York City. Mayor Beame was seeking reelection in spite of record deficits, massive layoffs, and sky-rocketing crime rates. Also in the race were Mario Cuomo, who would later become governor, the future mayor Ed Koch, and firebrand feminist liberal Bella Abzug. 1977 was the Summer of Sam, David Berkowitz, a serial killer who terrorized the city for months. It was the year of the black-out, over 24 hours of largely uncontrolled looting that resulted in over 3,000 arrests and millions of dollars of property damaged that left a permanent mark on large sections of New York City. It was also the year Reggie Jackson came to play baseball for the New York Yankees in one of the first free-agent deals much to the consternation of team manager Billy Martin.

If you don't remember any of that, you may be wondering if there's anything in The Bronx is Burning for you. I was only 13 in 1977, too wrapped up in 8th grade to notice much of what was going on. From the opposite coast where I lived, New York City was a place to be avoided, too dangerous to ever consider visiting, an object lesson in what could go wrong. New York City was a punchline. Maybe having no solid preconceptions about New York in '77 is one reason why I liked The Bronx is Burning as much as I did; there's no reason for me to take exception to anything Mr. Mahler says one way or another.

Mr. Mahler says in his introduction that he set out to write a book about baseball, about the 1977 Yankees and Billy Martin's struggle with Reggie Jackson, maybe Reggie Jackson's struggle with Billy Martin. However, it soon became apparent to Mr. Mahler that he could not tell the story of the '77 Yankees without telling the larger story of New York City and those who lived there. The result is a fascinating look at a particular place at a particular time. The Bronx is Burning remains at heart a book about baseball, but it's a hybrid sort of book--a baseball, politics, true-crime piece of non-fiction that never ceases to entertain as it informs.

However, at its core, The Bronx is Burning is too conflicted to be a complete success. While Mr. Mahler tries to make his book an all encompassing portrait of New York City, one gets the sense that he really wants to write about baseball. The mayoral race is fascinating, judging from what is in The Bronx is Burning the 1977 race may have been one of the most interesting races in American politics, but it plays second fiddle to the on-going conflict between Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin. Between the two of them and team owner George Steinbrenner there is enough drama to fill the entire book which makes the inclusion of the Son of Sam investigation and Rupert Murdoch's takeover of the New York Post along with much of the story of the city's overall decline during the 1970's seem a bit of a footnote. In the end, I felt Mr. Mahler should have written two books, one about baseball and one about all the rest, so if I were still giving out stars, The Bronx is Burning would get four out of five. ( )
2 rösta CBJames | Feb 21, 2010 |
Reading this after having watched the ESPN series. The book is much better. I grew up in New Jersey, so I know most of the characters featured here, but have dim memories of the events in the book (dating myself, but not that much :-) It's interesting to see how someone like Ed Koch, who was always larger than life to my childhood eyes, started out. ( )
  mkschoen | Jan 22, 2010 |
Mahler revisits the tumultuous year of 1977 in New York City focusing on the clashes between Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo in the race for mayor, and Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson for dominance over the New York Yankees. In addition to this Mahler captures the essence of the city in politics, SoHo art galleries, punk rock, Studio 54, and the Son of Sam murders. The book moves along in illuminating if episodic chapters until the devastating central section where in clipped, police report style prose Mahler recreates the horror of the blackout of 1977 and the looting and arson that erupted in Bushwick and other neighborhoods. 1977 is a transformative year in New York history (and its hard to believe all of this happened in the same year), and definitely the moment when New York hit rock bottom. I found myself oddly nostalgic reading this book. Not that I miss the widespread violence and hopelessness of the time, but the names and places remind me of the old New York of my childhood and the good things that were lost in the yuppification of 80’s and 90’s. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read in a long while. ( )
1 rösta Othemts | Jun 26, 2008 |
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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. -- Publishers description.

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