THE LEGEND OF HOBEY BAKER by John Davies

THE LEGEND OF HOBEY BAKER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Presumably, at this price, this has a raft of illustrations we haven't seen. Its subject, though, is very attractive, if unfamiliar to the present generation. Hobey Amory Hare Baker, the ill-starred, golden-haired Adonis of Princeton's preWWI football and hockey teams, was apparently Fitzgerald's visual reference for Amory Blaine of This Side of Paradise. Hobey Baker did everything Fitzgerald wanted to do. He starred at athletics; he fought with the Lafayette Escadrille and downed three German planes; he died in a freak crash the same day he received his discharge. Not only that, he was, if anything, handsomer than Fitzgerald. His reputation remains however as an athlete. He was Princeton's greatest hockey star, a sheer gentleman in blond hair who played not to win but to show good form. After college Baker spent two years as a $20-a-week Wall Street clerk, chewing candy to still his nerves. The war came to him as a new sport. He danced off to France, became a pilot officer, had an unhappy love affair with an American heiress, died at 27. Suicide was rumored about his crash but discounted. His story is told here with great charm, as of an angel on ice who also skidded down to hell, but it would bloody well shame Baker pink to read it.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1966
Publisher: Little, Brown