The Bronx is Burning
1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City
By Jonathan Mahler
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312427023, 376pp.)
Publication Date: June 26, 2007
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Scheduled for release in July 2007 as an ESPN original miniseries, starring John Turturro as Billy Martin, Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner, and Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Jackson.
A kaleidoscopic portrait of New York City in 1977, The Bronx Is Burning is the story of two epic battles: the fight between Yankee Reggie Jackson and team manager Billy Martin, and the battle between Mario Cuomo and Ed Koch for the city's mayorship. Buried beneath these parallel conflicts--one for the soul of baseball, the other for the soul of the city--was the subtext of race.
Deftly intertwined by journalist Jonathan Mahler, these braided Big Apple narratives reverberate to reveal a year that also saw the opening of Studio 54, the acquisition of the New York Post by Rupert Murdoch, a murderer dubbed the "Son of Sam," the infamous blackout, and the evolution of punk rock. As Koch defeated Cuomo, and as Reggie Jackson rescued a team racked with dissension, 1977 became a year of survival--and also of hope.
Jonathan Mahler is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and son.
"Ambitiously conceived, marvelously told . . . Mahler weaves several stories into one grand narrative of the city's death and rebirth. . . . It all comes back, in living color . . . a tour de force."--The New York Times
"Entertaining and illuminating . . . It should not be surprising then that Mahler . . . believed a layered account of a single year in the life of the city, 1977, could sustain a book--nor should it be surprising that he was right. . . . A nuanced portrait of this wild year."--The New York Times Book Review (front cover)
"A rich canvas . . . an excellent new book."--Sports Illustrated
"Compulsively readable . . . Mahler's innocently emblematic figures careen vividly through their historical moment."--The Wall Street Journal