Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale
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Product Description

A passionate and dramatic account of a year in the life of a city, when baseball and crime reigned supreme, and when several remarkable figures emerged to steer New York clear of one of its most harrowing periods.

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.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the basis of the 2007 ESPN miniseries, starring John Turturro as Billy Martin, Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner, and Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Jackson.

Review

"Ambitiously conceived, marvelously told . . . Mahler weaves several stories into one grand narrative of the city''s death and rebirth. . . . It all comes back, in living color . . . a tour de force.” ―The New York Times

“Entertaining and illuminating . . . It should not be surprising then that Mahler . . . believed a layered account of a single year in the life of the city, 1977, could sustain a book--nor should it be surprising that he was right. . . . A nuanced portrait of this wild year.” ―The New York Times Book Review (front cover)

“Compulsively readable . . . Mahler''s innocently emblematic figures careen vividly through their historical moment.” ―The Wall Street Journal

“A rich canvas . . . an excellent new book.” ―Sports Illustrated

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning is a terrifically entertaining, knowledgeable book about one of the most tumultuous years in the history of New York--both on and off the ballfield. Read it and weep, read it and laugh, for the incomparable circus that was our greatest city.” ―Kevin Baker, author of Paradise Alley

“Damon Runyon where are you now? Mahler''s rollicking evocation of New York in 1977--the year of Son of Sam, the year of the blackout, the year it refuses to Drop Dead, the year, dammit, the Yankees take the World Series--is full of Runyonesque characterizations, energy, and biting wit. Mahler chooses to portray the city from two alternating perspectives, the bleachers and the political clubhouse, and the result is a stereoscopic image in color of a troubled city in search of itself. With characters like Reggie Jackson and Mario Cuomo, Ed Koch and Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner and Jimmy Breslin, the bases are loaded and Mahler smokes it.” ―Harold Evans, author of They Made America

“Jonathan Mahler takes us back to one tumultuous year in New York, and through masterful storytelling and rich portraits of the leading characters of the day--Reggie, Billy, Koch, Cuomo, Murdoch, Steinbrenner--reminds us that what defines and ultimately saves a city, in any era, are its outsized citizens. In Mahler''s expert hands, they are flawed, fierce, brilliant, bickersome, and as indomitable as the metropolis itself.” ―Michael Sokolove, author of The Ticket Out: Darryl Strawberry and the Boys of Crenshaw

“A fascinating city, a fascinating team, a fascinating time. This book took me back. Where were you in 1977?” ―Tim McCarver

“[Mahler] pulls off an expert historical double play by blending front-page political news and sports-page action. The result recalls the ambient atmosphere of the ethnic neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, the natural argot of the precint houses and of the locker rooms of New York just a few years ago. And it''s all done with the knowing acumen and street smarts of an old-fashioned beat reporter . . . An informed picture of a bright city in a dark hour.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“What a book! What a year! Just when it looked like New York was down for the count--its heart and soul and civic fabric seemingly bankrupt and burned--the city rose, incapable of dropping dead. Jonathan Mahler takes us on a mesmerizing trip down into the dark recesses of racist politics and up into the bright lights of Yankee Stadium, transporting us back to a year that turned out to be not the end but morning at last after the city''s longest night.” ―Robert Sullivan, author of Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City''s Most Unwanted Inhabitants

“You begin this book thinking, reasonably, that Bella Abzug, Billy Martin, Son of Sam and Studio 54 can''t possibly occupy the same narrative space, but as Jonathan Mahler''s story of New York circa 1977 unfolds, the disparate gritty elements start to resonate off one another. The result isn''t harmony--the city has never known such a thing--but rather what a great book about New York should be: a story that''s oversized, blaring, impossible, and true.” ―Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World

“Jonathan Mahler''s Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning is an energetic synthesis of a year in the life of a great city in manic conflict with itself.” ―Nicholas Dawidoff, author of The Catcher was A Spy

About the Author

Jonathan Mahler, a writer for The New York Times Magazine, is the author of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning and  The Challenge: How a Maverick Navy Officer and a Young Law Professor Risked Their Careers to Defend the Constitution--and Won.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
248 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

J Thomas
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Readable & well-researched
Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2017
A readable, well-researched account of NYC in 1977, a year that NYC would probably rather forget. 1977: the year George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and Reggie Jackson kept sportswriters working overtime covering their many public disputes. The year a catastrophic power... See more
A readable, well-researched account of NYC in 1977, a year that NYC would probably rather forget. 1977: the year George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and Reggie Jackson kept sportswriters working overtime covering their many public disputes. The year a catastrophic power outage led to deadly riots and looting, destroying whole NYC neighborhoods. The year Studio 54 became a disco legend; SoHo, a quirky little artist community, was “discovered” (and arguably destroyed) by gentrification; and gays sunned themselves on abandoned peers, oblivious to the coming apocalypse of AIDS. The year Times Square gained notoriety not for its Broadway shows, but for its burgeoning, almost wholly unregulated porn industry. The year an obscure Australian media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch, bought the New York Post, marking the beginning of the Tabloid Era. The year rowdy Yankees fans regularly threw garbage on the field when they weren’t shouting obscenities at opposing teams or raining stale beer down on the heads of the patrons seated beneath them. The year a mysterious serial killer, dubbed Son of Sam, eluded a task force that at one point grew to include over 700 police officers. The year urban blight and housing projects created neighborhoods so bereft of hope, people torched their own unsellable houses for the insurance money. The year 3 living, breathing caricatures – Bella Abzug, Mario Cuomo and Abe Beame – battled for the right to run a city that was literally going up in smoke. The year NYC’s liberal legacy (rent-controlled apartments, generous municipal salaries and pensions, free higher education), already stretched and strained, finally broke. The year one of the greatest cities in the world skidded into fiscal chaos and officially declared bankruptcy.

In other words, Mahler has plenty of material to cover! And so he does, in the form of 67 brief, breezy, detail-filled chapters, replete with authentic eyewitness accounts and seeped in ‘70s “vibe”. Indeed, the narrative is so engaging and readable, I ended up enjoying parts of this I expected merely to endure. (Accounts of political campaigns and labor strikes not being my usually my cup of tea.)

Like many folks my age, I’ve spent much of my life trying to forget that I lived through this turbulent decade in America’s history. Yes, Mahler’s narrative serves as an unstinting, unapologetic reminder of everything that was awful about the 70s. But it also forced me to appreciate the remarkable adaptability and resiliency of American culture. Sure, we’ve faced challenges as a nation – poverty, racism, bigotry, violence, really bad music – but even in the depths of despair, our hope never completely fails, our empathy never entirely falters, our ingenuity endures, and we keeping finding ways to triumph over the forces of greed, intolerance, and general boorishness. A lesson I’m trying to take to heart as our country once against finds itself struggling to rise above our old, familiar demons.
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Peter F Raleigh
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What a great book!
Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2021
I had seen the ESPN series years ago by the same name. I had no idea it was based on this book. In fact, when I got the book, I was pretty sure it was written after the series. I was wrong. What an interesting approach to look at NYC in ''77 from the perspective of the... See more
I had seen the ESPN series years ago by the same name. I had no idea it was based on this book. In fact, when I got the book, I was pretty sure it was written after the series. I was wrong. What an interesting approach to look at NYC in ''77 from the perspective of the mayoral election, Son of Sam murders, the blackout, and the Yankees world series championship. The characters are real, and bigger than life (Cuomo, Koch, Martin, Jackson, Steinbrenner, Munson, Son of Sam, etc.). Really well researched & written, and hard to put down. I highly recommend it.
2 people found this helpful
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Stephen Harris
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Superb
Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2018
"Doesn''t get any better than this." This book reads like a soap opera, and that is meant in a good way. The author paints a vivid picture of 1970''s NYC through a detailed exploration of key people and events: mayor Ed Koch; the 1977 blackout; the Son of Sam murder... See more
"Doesn''t get any better than this." This book reads like a soap opera, and that is meant in a good way. The author paints a vivid picture of 1970''s NYC through a detailed exploration of key people and events: mayor Ed Koch; the 1977 blackout; the Son of Sam murder spree; mayor Beame; Jimmy Breslin; Rupert Murdoch; the power struggle between Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, manager Billy Martin and slugger Reggie Jackson; the decline of the city in the 1970''s; the emergence of SoHo; and so much more. The book examines intelligently the social, cultural, political and economic issues of the city. Diligently researched and beautifully written.
2 people found this helpful
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buyer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Highly Addictive
Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2015
My only regret, is that the book didn''t end on August 3rd 1979, the day we were informed that the captain had tragically died in a plane crash. For those of us that were there, in New York during that special time in history that was the late 70''s, the death of Thurman... See more
My only regret, is that the book didn''t end on August 3rd 1979, the day we were informed that the captain had tragically died in a plane crash. For those of us that were there, in New York during that special time in history that was the late 70''s, the death of Thurman Munson was as much an end of an era as game 6 of the ''77 World Series was to the crazy year of 1977. In fact, when the Thurman died, the Yankees wouldn''t win another title for 17 years, an eternity for Yankee fans. And the craziness of the 70''s, even though it wasn''t sensationalized like in ''77, was still strong in ''78 and ''79. There is a reason the stadium and the team were nicknamed The Bronx Zoo. ''78 was one of the most entertaining years in baseball history, included a legendary pennant race that came down to a one-game playoff in Fenway, feature Mike Torrez pitching FOR the Red Sox, Bucky Dent over the Monster, The Boston Massacre, and Ron Guidry being robbed of the MVP by infamous Red Sox a****** Jim Rice. And Thurman was a big part of that of this chapter in New York''s history.

The book was about the crazy year of 1977, and it pretty much nailed it. We really didn''t need another 120 pages about 1978. But somehow it felt incomplete not having just an epilogue detailing the day that the era truly ended.
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A. T. Yoshida
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Story of Civic Stress and Survival
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2020
This book tells another one of those stories of the stress, survival, and revival of New York City - as we have seen before and shall see again. It tells the interconnected stories of the Yankees’ World Series run, the Mayoral race, the revival of the New York Post, the... See more
This book tells another one of those stories of the stress, survival, and revival of New York City - as we have seen before and shall see again. It tells the interconnected stories of the Yankees’ World Series run, the Mayoral race, the revival of the New York Post, the blackout, and the Son of Sam. In clear prose, the author crafts a work out of these different tales and draws vivid pictures of the bold characters who populated them.
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Timothy Sommer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Snapshot of a Time And Place, and a "must have" for students of NYC
Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2014
Neither a pure baseball book nor just an account of an extraordinary time in the political, social, cultural, and economic life of the city, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN is a compelling account of an amazing moment in the life of a great American city and a great American baseball... See more
Neither a pure baseball book nor just an account of an extraordinary time in the political, social, cultural, and economic life of the city, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN is a compelling account of an amazing moment in the life of a great American city and a great American baseball team. If you "just" want to hear about baseball and the ''77 Yankees, you''ll probably be disappointed: More than anything, this is a book about the 1977 New York Mayoral elections and the extraordinary back-drop of violence, chaos, hope, and change these elections played out in front of, and how an outsize personalities like Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin changed baseball and ultimately became symbolic heroes of the beleaguered and abused city. I wouldn''t necessarily say this book is a "must" for baseball fans; the fact is, it isn''t, and that''s why it gets 4 stars instead of 5, since anyone wanting a "great" baseball book will probably be disappointed. It is, however, a "must" book for those fascinated by the cultural and political history of New York City, and how one of the world''s greatest cities very nearly spun into anarchy and bankruptcy in the mid 1970s.
2 people found this helpful
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Glenn Yates
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Did most of what it set out to do
Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2007
A year in the life of NYC, 1977 as the title tells us, and a pretty interesting year to observe. The social and political and economic unrest were at levels we have almost forgotten, and even more have we forgotten the cumulative sense that this was destiny. The rising... See more
A year in the life of NYC, 1977 as the title tells us, and a pretty interesting year to observe. The social and political and economic unrest were at levels we have almost forgotten, and even more have we forgotten the cumulative sense that this was destiny. The rising murder rate, the Son of Sam in particular, the riots and social anarchy and growing crime and grime rate all seemed like an inexorable march to decay in 1977, and Mahler dissertates well on this.

Much like "The Devil in the White City", this book tries to tie several disparate topics together in somewhat unnatural ways, but overall the reader is able to follow and the stories flow well. I''m not a Yankees fan, but I was able to generate interest in the Reggie Jackson Billy Martin conflict that was a highlight, and microcosm, of the Yankees and New York in 1977.

Finally we had the story of the surprise win of Ed Koch in the mayoral election over Mario Cuomo. Koch is always an interesting figure, and more could''ve been spent on this and on Koch for my part, although he was just developing as a character in those days. And who other than a New Yorker would''ve remembered that Bella Abzug was a major player in those days. New York is definitely a different town than it was in 1977. I know it''s a city, but it''s also a hell of a town.
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Victoria
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Essential for lovers of NYC and the 70''s
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2021
I am always happy to add to my NYC knowledge base, and this highlights a key year. The blackout, the heatwave, Son of Sam, Koch & Cuomo, and the primary focus -- of course -- baseball. An excellent addition to anyone''s NYC catalogue.
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Top reviews from other countries

Nick Vaughan.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
New York, don''t you love it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2019
An enjoyable book about New York, weaving baseball, the mayoral race, the city blackout and subsequent looting in some poorer parts of NY and the Son of Sam killings all in 1977, page turning social history at it''s best.
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Colonel Decker
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Mesmerising account of New York in 1977
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2014
Though one of its subjects is baseball you don''t have to know or like baseball to apprecaite this wonderful book. The author takes us on a trip of New York City starting around 1973 and climaxing in 1977- a summer where the city was ravaged by a blackout and looting, a...See more
Though one of its subjects is baseball you don''t have to know or like baseball to apprecaite this wonderful book. The author takes us on a trip of New York City starting around 1973 and climaxing in 1977- a summer where the city was ravaged by a blackout and looting, a serial killer named the son of sam, poltical fighting, newspapers vying for the best headlines and a confrontation between Reggie Jackson and his coach with the Yankees. Again if you don''t know or like baseball it''s easy to skip these chapters, and just concentrate on the other subjects. A very well written book.
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James Mackay
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 12, 2018
highly recommend fast service and good quality
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Mr. Raymond L. Hall
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
New York, New York
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2014
A cannot put down book, interweaving the mayoral politics, the baseball (Yankees), and the riots of 1977, in a city one cannot help but admire. Superbly and colourfully written the book is a snapshot of an tumultuous year.
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S H Pritchard
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2018
Great book about my favorite city, US sport and politics. Beautifully woven together.
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Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale

Ladies wholesale and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, popular Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City sale