Fun City

Fun City

John Lindsay, Joe Namath, and How Sports Saved New York in the 1960s

Book - 2015
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On January 1, 1966, New York came to a standstill as the city's transit workers went on strike. This was the first day on the job for Mayor John Lindsay--a handsome, young former congressman with presidential aspirations--and he would approach the issue with an unconventional outlook that would be his hallmark. He ignored the cold and walked four miles, famously declaring, "I still think it is a fun city."

As profound social, racial, and cultural change sank the city into repeated crises, critics lampooned Lindsay's "fun city." Yet for all the hard times the city endured during and after his tenure as mayor, there was indeed fun to be had. Against this backdrop, too, the sporting scene saw tremendous upheaval.

On one hand, the venerable Yankees--who had won 15 pennants in an 18-year span before 1965--and the NFL's powerhouse Giants suddenly went into a level of decline neither had known for generations, as stars like Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford on the diamond and Y.A. Tittle on the gridiron aged quickly. But on the other, the fall of the city's sports behemoths was accompanied by the rise of anti-establishment outsiders--there were Joe Namath and the Jets, as well as the shocking triumph of the Amazin' Mets, who won the 1969 World Series after spending the franchise's first eight seasons in the cellar. Meanwhile, the city's two overlooked franchises, the Knicks and Rangers, also had breakthroughs, bringing new life to Madison Square Garden.

The overlap of these two worlds in the 1960s--Lindsay's politics and the reemerging sports landscape--serves as the backbone of Fun City . In the vein of Ladies and Gentlemen: The Bronx is Burning , the book tells the story of a remarkable and thrilling time in New York sports against the backdrop of a remarkable and often difficult time for the city, culturally and socially.

The late sixties was an era in which New York toughened up in a lot of ways; it also was an era in which a changing of the guard among New York pro teams led the way in making it a truly fun city.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports--books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.

Whether you are a New York Yankees fan or hail from Red Sox nation; whether you are a die-hard Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys fan; whether you root for the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, UCLA Bruins, or Kansas Jayhawks; whether you route for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, or Los Angeles Kings; we have a book for you. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Publisher: New York, NY : Sports Publishing, [2015]
ISBN: 9781613218150
161321815X
Branch Call Number: 974.71043
Characteristics: xii, 348 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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MikeHanafin
Jul 21, 2018

Fascinating look back at how the fortunes of NYC politics and professional sports rode a rollercoaster. New York City was arguably the worst city to live in, and also the worst sports city in America in the mid-to-late 60s. Lindsay and Namath arrived in 1965 with a lot of hype, and both suffered many crushing setbacks--before the magic year of 1969: the Jets won the Super Bowl, the Mets won the World Series, the Knicks became an NBA power (then champions in 1970), and Lindsay was re-elected as mayor--despite approval ratings in the 20% range 6 months before the election. Great book for sports/politics junkies, especially people old enough to remember those years.

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