Having covered the Yankees for 30 years, and with access to previously unavailable material, Madden provides a definitive...

STEINBRENNER

THE LAST LION OF BASEBALL

Veteran New York Daily News sportswriter Madden (Pride of October: What It Was to Be Young and a Yankee, 2004, etc.) examines George Steinbrenner, irascible owner of the New York Yankees.

Venal and vituperative, generous and loyal, no owner dominated both his team and the headlines as Steinbrenner did. When he bought the Yankees for less than $10 million in 1972—the team is now worth more than $1 billion—he said, “I’ve got a ship company to run. I won’t have much time for baseball.” However, for the next 30 years he proceeded to micromanage the team in ways no owner ever had or, probably, ever will—from keeping track of players’ hair length to ensuring no trash bags were littering Yankee Stadium. Most importantly, riding the wave of free agency, in which players would go to the highest bidder, usually Steinbrenner, he was able to return the Yankees to greatness, winning seven World Series titles between 1977 and 2009. But success came at a price for his employees. Public humiliation was common, and no general manager or manager could know from one day to the next whether or not he would still have a job. Born in 1930, the son of a demanding father he could never please, Steinbrenner had always been drawn to sports, even coaching college football until called to run the family shipping business, which he did with great success. Madden speculates that his bullying manner, though he was capable of great personal kindness, grew from an unrequited desire to impress his father. Whatever the case, the author covers the soap-opera tales of Steinbrenner’s relationship with superstar players like Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield, and with a revolving door of managers, including the troubled Billy Martin, whom Steinbrenner would hire and fire five times. Old age and illness finally removed Steinbrenner from the Yankees’ center stage, and with that an era ended.

Having covered the Yankees for 30 years, and with access to previously unavailable material, Madden provides a definitive and captivating biography of “The Boss.”

Pub Date: May 11, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-169031-0

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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