NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A?¢ From Jane Leavy, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Boy and Sandy Koufax, comes the definitive biography of Babe RuthA??the man Roger Angell dubbed "the model for modern celebrity."
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018
A??LeavyA??s newest masterpieceA?¦. A major work of American history by an author with a flair for mesmerizing story-telling.A? A??Forbes
He lived in the present tenseA??in the cameraA??s lens. There was no frame he couldnA??t or wouldnA??t fill. He swung the heaviest bat, earned the most money, and incurred the biggest fines. Like all the new-fangled gadgets then flooding the marketplaceA??radios, automatic clothes washers, Brownie cameras, microphones and loudspeakersA??Babe Ruth "made impossible events happen." Aided by his crucial partnership with Christy WalshA??business manager, spin doctor, damage control wizard, and surrogate father, all stuffed into one tightly buttoned double-breasted suitA??Ruth drafted the blueprint for modern athletic stardom.
His was a life of journeys and itinerariesA??from uncouth to couth, spartan to spendthrift, abandoned to abandon; from Baltimore to Boston to New York, and back to Boston at the end of his career for a finale with the only team that would have him. There were road trips and hunting trips; grand tours of foreign capitals and post-season promotional tours, not to mention those 714 trips around the bases.
After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927A??a total that would not be exceeded until 1961, when Roger Maris did it with the aid of the extended modern seasonA??he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig. Walsh called the tour a "Symphony of Swat." The Omaha World Herald called it "the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent." In The Big Fella, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the romp and the pathos that defined RuthA??s life and times.
Drawing from more than 250 interviews, a trove of previously untapped documents, and Ruth family records, Leavy breaks through the mythology that has obscured the legend and delivers the man.