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Extended Audio Sample The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, by Jane Leavy Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Leavy Narrator: Jane Leavy, John Bedford Lloyd Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Jane Leavy, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy, returns with a biography of an American original—number 7, Mickey Mantle. Drawing on more than five hundred interviews with friends and family, teammates, and opponents, she delivers the definitive account of Mantle’s life, mining the mythology of The Mick for the true story of a luminous and illustrious talent—with an achingly damaged soul.

Meticulously reported and elegantly written, The Last Boy is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from the author’s weekend with The Mick in Atlantic City, where she interviewed her hero in 1983. As she did so memorably in her biography of Sandy Koufax, Jane Leavy transcends the hyperbole of hero worship to reveal the man behind the coast-to-coast smile, who grappled with a wrenching childhood, crippling injuries, and a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. It is the story of a boy from Commerce, Oklahoma, who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, be voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player three times, win the Triple Crown in 1956, and duel teammate Roger Maris for Babe Ruth’s home run crown in the summer of 1961—a boy who would never grow up.

The Last Boy is an uncommon biography—not only the portrait of an icon but also an investigation of memory itself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is one of the best sports biographies I have ever read. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, it reveals with stunning insight both the talents and the demons that drove Mickey Mantle, bringing him to life as never before.”

    Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Team of Rivals 

  • “In sharp detail and graceful style, Leavy cuts through the myth and treats us to a rarely known Mantle: more flawed, more human, and more likeable. A terrific read.”  

    Tom Verducci, coauthor of #1 New York Times bestseller The Yankee Years 

  • “The only thing about this book that is better than Jane Leavy’s vivid prose is her astonishing reporting. To my knowledge, no one has ever investigated the life of an American athlete with Leavy’s rigor and thoroughness.”

    Daniel Okrent, New York Times bestselling author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition and Nine Innings 

  • The Last Boy is stunning. Jane Leavy captures the beautiful, imperfect Mickey Mantle with equal measures of depth and empathy. She finds the buried answers to the riddle of what drove and haunted the Mick.”

    David Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of Clemente and Lombardi: When Pride Still Mattered

  • “Innovative...Dickensian...Heartbreaking...True.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Every kid growing up in New York in the 50s wanted to be Mickey Mantle, including me...Jane Leavy has captured the hold he had on all of us in this gripping biography.”

    Joe Torre

  • “Leavy says that Mantle lived a double life. There was a sunshine Mickey, a grinning, humble, fair-haired boy who could run like the wind and hit a baseball a mile; and there was midnight Mickey, a creepy, weepy, abusive drunk who immiserated his wife, turned his sons into underage drinking buddies, and treated his adoring fans like a swarm of annoying flies. It is a tribute to her persistence, and her talent, that she captured him whole.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Do not walk—sprint—to the bookstore to get a copy of The Last Boy.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Drawing on more than five hundred interviews with Mantle’s family, friends, teammates, and their spouses, the book dissects and dispels many of the myths of his career and is the definitive biography of the Yankees great—warts and all.”

    New York Daily News

  • “Leavy worked hard on this book. Reading the long list of ballplayers she interviewed—the likes of Bobby Shantz, Eli Grba, Johnny Kucks—is a nostalgia trip in itself. She recruited scientists and detectives to determine the distance Mantle’s most famous home runs traveled. She avoids the tedium of many baseball biographies that go game by game through the player’s career. She tries, as she promised Mantle’s family, to ‘reclaim him from caricature.’”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Engrossing...The Last Boy is a fresh, thorough examination of Mickey Mantle’s life.”

    Newsday

  • “[The Last Boy] is a tale deftly told, rich in detail, unvarnished and unsparing, researched to a fare-thee-well, alternatively fluid and florid, and without staleness...Leavy has found a new angle from which to come at a well-worked over subject. It’s not a sports book. It is not weighted down with numbers. It is both biography and sociological study, traced back to an earlier, more innocent time.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Through her exhaustive...reporting, Leavy shows Mantle at his unfathomable worst and unrecognized best. For even the most ardent Mantleologist, The Last Boy is an education.”

    Time

  • “In Leavy’s hands, the life of Mantle no longer defies logic: it seems inevitable. She’s hit a long home run.”  

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Leavy herself provides an outstanding narration of the preface. Narrator John Bedford Lloyd handles the remaining text commendably. His Southern accent makes Mantle appealing, real, and human. Major and minor characters are distinctive, sometimes funny, and always believable...The combination of Mantle’s talent and self-destructiveness is poignant. The behavior of his teammates toward him, loyal and enabling, is both disturbing and moving. This is a biography that lends itself perfectly to being told.”  

    AudioFile

  • “This is unlike any biography on the sports shelf...A masterpiece of sports biography.”  

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Candid, compassionate...the best of the Mantle biographies.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A 2010 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
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