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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By TMo on 06-25-15
good story, but there's more.
A breezy, fun tour of 1970's NYC with a focus on the World Series Yankee team of that year. only issue was that it seemed to end abruptly, leaving questions about the fate of many of the key players in the drama.
For anyone interested in the decay NYC in the 1970s, I would also recommend Joe Flood's superb book "The Fires".
It's important for everyone -- particularly New Yorkers -- to understand that decade and to see how quickly poor decisions can destroy a city.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Walter on 05-19-13
As it was in 1977 NYC. I know as I was there too.
What made the experience of listening to Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning the most enjoyable?
This is a good memory of NYC as it really was in 1977. I remember driving through the Bronx many times on my way to park by Yankee Stadium and walk across the track by the park on my way in never knowing if my car would be there when I returned! Sitting in the box seats smelling the weed being smoked throughout the stadium and watching Reggie, Billy and Munson go at it. I was oblivious about Son of Sam at the time which would have made me think twice now about what I did and where I went. The ConEd part was very interesting when they talked about the blackout.... Glad I was not there then! It was a very good book which was more history than baseball but very well done.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
It portrayed the true times.
Have you listened to any of David Ledoux’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
The film was made already but without the politics of the time.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 02-28-18
A brilliant book, which captures the magic and downtimes of another era. A great read.
By p on 10-04-16
A highly enjoyable journey to NYC in 1977
Excellent production and narration. You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this excellent book just have an interest in the politics, culture and sport of a fascinating city in tumultuous times. You couldn't make up the characters brought to life by the author. A very good audiobook.