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Saturday, September 10, 2005

My birthday book from my parents this year was Jonathan Mahler's "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City", a perfect call. New York was my oyster that year: I worked summers in the city, and followed all of the events chronicled in the book in the Times, the News and the Post every day. Emotions ran high about both the election (which boiled down to Kotch v. Cuomo, but Bella Abzug and Percy Sutton, and of course, the hapless Abe Beame were in it too) and the Yankees' fortunes, and the guys I rode the bench with in the Service Department of Sullivan & Cromwell had opinions about everything. Most of what's in the book I knew, the way you know the sound cars made when they drove by the house you grew up in-- but I didn't have a lot of context for a lot of it. That's how it was, that's how it'd always been. Mahler gave me context, and the benefit of perspective. A good read-- I wish there were more photographs.

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