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VINE VOICEon May 31, 2009
This is one of the few books that begin by listing traits of obsessive-compulsive and narcissistic personality disorders. It seems appropriate, however, in an attempt to describe and explain George Steinbrenner: The Poor Little Rich Boy Who Built the Yankee Empire.

While Steinbrenner has been in the headlines for more than 30 years for his egotistical and demanding ways, it would be a mistake to think that you know everything about the man.

Author Peter Golenbock spends more than 100 pages describing Steinbrenner's life before he purchased the Yankees in 1973. It helps explain his actions the past 30-plus years.

One of the most interesting chapters in the book involves Steinbrenner's ownership of the Cleveland Pipers in the National Industrial Basketball League in the early 1960s. He exhibited all the undesirable traits that he would as the owner of the Yankees.

Steinbrenner was described as "incapable of leaving well enough alone. He was a compulsive meddler who had to be in complete control over every aspect of the organization, and his most detrimental flaw was that he always thought that because he had once been a coach, he knew more about the sport than his coaches. The other part had to do with his narcissism, the personality disorder in which the one suffering from it is convinced that he is better than everyone else, is smarter than every else, and knows better than everyone else.

"His second-guessing was constant and annoying, and his meddling often counterproductive and sometimes downright hurtful to his team."

Although Steinbrenner's actions with the Yankees have been well chronicled, they are more disturbing when read collectively. Golenbock describes Steinbrenner as "an ego-driven sadist." His mistreatment of players, managers, coaches and front office personnel is legendary. Steinbrenner hates those who succeed, particularly those in his own organization. He must take credit for everything.

Despite all the negatives, Steinbrenner does have a generous side, helping high school athletes and supporting causes. It still doesn't make him a likeable person.

This is a good book to read if you want to know more about George Steinbrenner, certainly one of the most impactful personalities in baseball history.

As noted by other reviewers, Golenbock does seem to suffer from "brain freeze" when it comes to a number of facts. Most any baseball fan knows that Roger Maris isn't in the Hall of Fame and Denny McLain (who retired in 1972) didn't lead the Detroit Tigers to a 35-5 start in 1984. These are just a couple of the factual mistakes.
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on August 3, 2011
This book has a great amount of information about Mr. Steinbrenner. The book talks about his upbringing, college and post-college life, business endeavors and how he became who he is. The majority of this book does a great job telling us about George, and the experiences that shaped him.

There is a large part of the Book where Mr. Golenbock seems to be more venting about his problems with George than keeping to information about George. It vaguely reminded me of Selenea Roberts tone at times about A-Rod in her book. This bothered me, but not enough to stop reading.

After reading this book (I have not read the more recent book about George) I had a better feel about who he was. The book goes over good detail, detail I left out as to not spoil it or bore you. I would probably recommend the other book (Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball), it did get an overall better rating. If you do not like the newer one, this one does have adequate information well put together, until it gets bogged down by Peter trying to portray George more poorly than he already is viewed.
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on January 23, 2010
GEORGE IS A VERY COMPLEX AND INTERESTING CHARACTER. I WOULD SAY HE IS MOSTLY THE DARK SIDE. THE BEST WORDS TO DESCRIBE HIM ARE VAIN, SELF ABSORBED, OVERBEARING, SELF IMPORTANT, SELFISH, LIAR, CONTROL FREAK AND MANY OTHERS WORDS THAT AMAZON WILL NOT ALLOW. I AM FROM CLEVELAND AND REMEBER SOME OF THE THINGS HE DID TO HAVE THE SHIP YARDS CLOSE BECAUSE OF HIS LIES AND MISMANAGMENT. HE HAS NO CONCERN OR COMPASSION FOR JUST ABOUT ANYONE EXCEPT HIMSELF. HE IS ALSO A CHEAT AND THINKS HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS WITHOUT REPERCUSSIONS. AS AN OWNER IN BUSINESS AND IN BASEBALL HE HAS MOSTLY BEEN SUCCESSFUL WHEN HE LET HIS ADVISERS MAKE MOST OF THE DECISIONS. HE ALSO HAS A GOOD SIDE, FOR THE MONEY HE HAS DONATED TO CHARITIES AND PAYED FOR MANY A FUNERALS FOR FORMER YANKEES AND LESS FORTUNATE ONES. THE BOOK ITSELF IS LOADED WITH MANY ERRORS AS MANY OF THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE REVIEWED THIS BOOK HAVE POINTED OUT. I DID LIKE THIS BOOK AND TRIED TO OVERLOOK THE ERRORS. I SUGGEST THIS FOR ALL BASEBALL FANS BUT MOSTLY FOR FANS WHO EITHER LOVE OR HATE GEORGE.
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The author Peter Golenbock is a well known author and should be totally embarrassed with the shoddy final product presented here covering the life of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Any potential reader that is a true sports fan... and not just a dilettante... will find it hard to relax and enjoy this book, as error after glaring error is perpetrated regarding historical facts... locations... and times. As the reader wades through early blunders... even the roughest critics can cast them aside and continue. But as the pages turn and the missteps accumulate it creates a reading atmosphere akin to "a-dog-that's-been-hit-too-much". You find yourself wondering how much of the non-verifiable conversations and situations are not valid either. What makes this literary release so shameful is that in addition to the question of what type of individual proof-read this book... is that with today's infinite amount of data available at your fingertips... so much of these mistakes could be caught with a quick internet inquiry. It isn't like the old days where you would need a roomful of people reading day and night.

*A few shameful examples*

The author says George spent six weeks in basic training at Lackland Air Force base in Houston.

INCORRECT: Lackland AFB is in San Antonio. I know I served there.

The author states that "Hopalong" Cassady of Ohio State won the Heisman Trophy TWICE, in 1954 and 1955.

INCORRECT: He did NOT win the Heisman in 1954, only 1955.

The author states that a trade made that included Roger Maris and Hoyt Wilhelm resulted in both of them making the Hall Of Fame.

INCORRECT: Roger Maris is NOT in the Hall Of Fame.

The author states that Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees for $100,000.00 in cash plus other considerations.

INCORRECT: Babe Ruth was sold for $125,000.00 plus other considerations.

The author says the Yankees won the 1959 American League Pennant.

INCORRECT: The Chicago White Sox won the 1959 American League Pennant and then lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The author says Thurman Munson died in September 1979.

INCORRECT: He died in August 1979.

The author says the 1984 Detroit Tigers who started off the season 35 and 5 were led by pitcher Denny McLain.

INCORRECT: Denny McLain retired after the 1972 season.

The author says that Dallas Green as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies won a pennant and World Series in 1981.

INCORRECT: The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1981.

This is just some of the incorrect information provided in this book. As the reader becomes apprehensive about the facts being purveyed... perhaps the two most interesting "non-George" segments of the book are the "PREFACE" in which the author details the synergistic chain of events that led him from his goal of being a lawyer... to becoming a published author... which was all started by a "punch in the face by a mugger in the deserted Rahway, New Jersey, train station, and a few days later, in the elevator of the New York University law library, I had a seizure that knocked me out and put me in the hospital." This led to a Forrest Gump like culmination to the author he is today. The second extremely interesting "non-George" character study is that of the Yankee president during the CBS ownership days.... Michael Burke who among other things "ONCE DRANK BOURBON WITH ERNEST HEMINGWAY AFTER PARACHUTING INTO PARIS TWO WEEKS AFTER D-DAY"... and also had war experience in the OSS that was so intriguing that the movie "CLOAK AND DAGGER" was made based on his exploits.

The rest of the book ranges from the expected love-hate relationship between George and his Father... the lies... to almost everyone that crossed his path... his hiring's and firings... wins and losses... his legal problems included... but not limited to... illegal campaign contributions and lying to the federal government... and more lies... but by the half-way mark of the book... there are already so many incorrect statements that you just don't care as much as you did... when you first started.
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on January 12, 2015
great book about The Boss
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on January 9, 2010
The author is either trying to smear Steinbrenner or get him into heaven. He tells us of the wonderful things George did, like put a kid through college and many generous donations, but he also tells us of all the terrible and inexcusable things he has done.I cannot forgive him for his destruction of Billy Martin. Watching everyone faun over him when they tore Yankee stadium down was sickening. I got to wonder how much money or what it was that got Yogi to kiss him. I can only think they held his family at gunpoint. Everyone seems to think that just because he suffers from dementiawe are supposed to put him in the hall of fame.George done everything possible to destroy not only the Yankees but baseball as well. This book has several facts wrong (see other reviews) so it makes me wonder if there are more wrong than we realize.The title is wrong it should read George: The poor litlle rich boy who no matter how bad he screwed up he got away scott free and the Yankees won in spite of him, but it probably would have covered up George's ugly mug.
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on May 1, 2009
Peter Golenbock continues to deliver what he has a well earned reputation for, a book loaded with factual inaccuracies and mistakes. It's very hard to enjoy a book when you really can't believe much of the alleged 'facts' within. Gee, isn't there someone who edits his nonsense. Peter you write great fiction, stop pretending to be a reputable sports writer. This book, like most of his work, is crap. Buyer beware.
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on August 23, 2013
Peter Golenbock has written one of the best books on George Steinbrenner. He tells it like it is, warts and all.
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on April 7, 2010
Great book......really am enjoying reading how Mr. Steinbrenner took over the Yankee organization and made them world champions again!
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on April 21, 2009
George's health nowadays is what they mean by "what goes around, comes around". Author nails him to the wall which is where he and the late Colonel Tom Parker belong.
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