Joe DiMaggio by Jerome Charyn
The Long Vigil (Icons of America)

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Synopsis

As the New York Yankees' star centerfielder from 1936 to 1951, Joe DiMaggio is enshrined in America's memory as the epitome in sports of grace, dignity, and that ineffable quality called "class." But his career after retirement, starting with his nine-month marriage to Marilyn Monroe, was far less auspicious. Writers like Gay Talese and Richard Ben Cramer have painted the private DiMaggio as cruel or self-centered. Now, Jerome Charyn restores the image of this American icon, looking at DiMaggio's life in a more sympathetic light. DiMaggio was a man of extremes, superbly talented on the field but privately insecure, passive, and dysfunctional. He never understood that for Monroe, on her own complex and tragic journey, marriage was a career move; he remained passionately committed to her throughout his life. He allowed himself to be turned into a sports memorabilia money machine. In the end, unable to define any role for himself other than "Greatest Living Ballplayer," he became trapped in "a horrible kind of minutia." But where others have seen little that was human behind that minutia, Charyn in Joe DiMaggio presents the tragedy of one of American sports' greatest figures.
 

About Jerome Charyn

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Jerome Charyn , a master of lyrical farce and literary ventriloquism, published his first novel in 1964. The author of Johnny One-Eye and dozens of other acclaimed novels and nonfiction works, he lives in New York and Paris.
 
Published March 8, 2011 by Yale University Press. 189 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Joe DiMaggio

Kirkus Reviews

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This latest in the publisher’s Icons of America series is, perhaps, best understood as a response to Richard Ben Cramer’s Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life (2000), a critical biography that, while acknowledging DiMaggio’s preternatural gifts as a ballplayer, exposed the Yankee Clipper as an off-the-f...

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The New York Times

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But the perpetual press release was written: “He never played on Yom Kippur.” That decision rejiggered the former Hyman Greenberg into “a muscular 6-foot-4-inch bulwark against anti-Semitism,” and the wrist injury “made it possible for the legend of the religious Greenberg to flour...

Jun 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil ...

The New York Times

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Other than the Yale imprints — Charyn’s biography is part of the “Icons of America” series, and Kurlansky’s belongs to the “Jewish Lives” series — the only true ­nexus between these books arrives on Page 112 of “Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One.” Kurlansky notes that Greenberg’s...

Jun 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil ...

BC Books

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Accessing the moments and memories of a bygone era and a time of spectacular achievements, Jerome Charyn has delved into the mystery of Joe DiMaggio and brought him to life.

Apr 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil ...

New York Journal of Books

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While he couldn’t obtain the perfection he so sought and pursued, he never gave up on the two things that mattered the most to him: baseball and Marilyn Monroe.Overall, Mr. Charyn is able to provide the language DiMaggio lacked in describing his life.

Mar 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil ...

Book Reporter

This year marks the 70th anniversary of one of the sports records considered to be unbreakable: Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.

Mar 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Now, Jerome Charyn restores the image of this American icon, looking at DiMaggio's life in a more sympathetic light.DiMaggio was a man of extremes, superbly talented on the field but privately insecure, passive, and dysfunctional.

Apr 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil ...

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