Babe Ruth takes Manhattan, and the rest of the country, by storm in Jane Leavy's biography, The Big Fella (Harper, $32.50). Using the lens of a twenty-one-day baseball exhibition cash-grab, Leavy reveals Ruth as a man who lived hard and, though he never wanted to be a role model, helped create the ubiquitous celebrity/pitchperson that dominates modern culture today. Forced from a dysfunctional home by an unfit set of parents, Ruth both bucked authority over his actions and looked for acceptance in the grandstands where his every at-bat was cared about and remembered. Ruth changed America's game through the power of his home runs, and changed American culture through the power of his boyish charm, outsized lifestyle, and pure love of the spotlight.
The Big Fella by Jane Leavy