Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Leavy digs for real Mantle in "The Last Boy"

Jane Leavy committed more than five years to chasing the essence of The Mick as she researched her new biography, The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood. She interviewed more than 500 people, a staggering list that consumes nearly 10 pages in the appendix. She spoke with teammates, opponents, family, friends, doctors, business associates, fans, and writers who had covered him.

While acknowledging those who helped her flesh out the real Mantle, Leavy writes "I cannot predict how his loved ones will receive this effort. I hope they feel I kept my promise to reclaim him from caricature. The way I look at it, after everything The Mick did for me, the least I could do was try to return his humanity to him in full."

Mission accomplished, and powerfully so. My full review is now available on BaseballAmerica.com.

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