Jane Leavy interviewed Mickey Mantle when she was a young sportswriter and he was a middle-aged alcoholic. He tried to feel her up; then he passed out. Leavy has now written a full-blown biography of Mantle that tries to reconcile his cherubic exterior and his astounding athletic talent — his numbers are all the more amazing when you consider that he spent only a few months of his career at full health — with the rageful, philandering boozehound he apparently was off the field. Leavy comes as close to succeeding as anyone could.
By Lev Grossman