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About Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO is a Harvard and Baylor University-educated historian, Napoleonic and Hemingway scholar and the best-selling author of the literary biography 'Looking for Hemingway' and the landmark civil rights history 'Chicano Power,' which Publishers Weekly acclaimed as “brilliant… a valuable contribution to the understanding of our time.”
His eighth book, 'Maris & Mantle: Two Yankees, Baseball Immortality, and the Age of Camelot,' was released on September 28 by Triumph Books. He is currently working on a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Mr. Castro's latest book, 'Mantle: The Best There Ever Was' (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) was the finale of his Mickey Mantle Trilogy that includes 'Mickey Mantle: America's Prodigal Son' (2002) and 'DiMag & Mick: Sibling Rivals, Yankee Blood Brothers' (2016). The New York Times hailed 'Mickey Mantle: America's Prodigal Son' as the the definitive biography of the baseball icon.
His poignant coming-of-age memoir 'The Prince of South Waco: American Dreams and Great Expectations' (2013) was praised by distinguished Texas editor and educator Tony Pederson for its "startling and frequently disturbing insights into growing up Hispanic and talented in Texas in the 1950s and 1960s. He lays bare the tortured and sometimes heartbreaking soul of his youth and life as a young adult."
His other books include 'Gehrig & The Babe: The Friendship and the Feud' (2018) and 'Looking for Hemingway: Spain, The Bullfights and A Final Rite of Passage," which NPR named one of the best books of 2016.
Mickey Mantle was Mr. Castro's childhood hero, as he was for many Baby Boomers. In 1970, while a young reporter in Dallas, Mr. Castro met Mantle who was dealing with life in retirement. The two men bonded over golf. Mr. Castro's friendship with Mantle would continue until Mickey's death in 1995.
As a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, Mr. Castro did graduate work on the Age of Napoleon under French history scholars Laurence Wylie and Stanley and Inge Hoffman and studied comparative literature under Homeric scholar Robert Fitzgerald and Mexican Nobel laureate Octavio Paz. While at Harvard he also taught a class on The New Journalism at Winthrop House and lectured on Latino Politics at the Kennedy Institute of Politics. He is considered by many to be the leading expert on Latino politics in America.
Mr. Castro is a graduate of Baylor University. He was also a White House Fellow at the Washington Journalism Center where he was assigned to The Washington Post. There his work caught the attention of editor Benjamin Bradlee who hired Mr. Castro as the Post's national correspondent reporting on the Southwest based out of Dallas.
Mr. Castro also produced several Latino civil rights documentaries for KERA-TV, the Dallas Public Broadcasting Service affiliate; published in the Texas Observer an investigative series on conflicts of interest in interlocking directorships in the state’s biggest financial institutions; and reported extensively on financial and campaign improprieties among Hispanic appointees in the Nixon administration. He ultimately landed on an “enemies lists” of President Nixon’s re-election campaign.
A former national correspondent for The Washington Post, Mr. Castro has also written for the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Observer, Sports Illustrated, L.A. Weekly, Saturday Review and Inside Houston magazine.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Renee LaSalle and Jeter, their black Labrador retriever. Their two grown sons, Trey and Ryan, also reside in Southern California.
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"An American literary stylistic masterpiece... Tony Castro paints Mickey Mantle with the pinstripe magic of Garcia Marquez phantasmagoria and realism..." -- Tom Wolfe
In Mantle: The Best There Ever Was, Tony Castro makes the impassioned argument that Mickey Mantle truly was the greatest ballplayer of all time. Acclaimed by the New York Times as the definitive biographer of baseball's fabled No. 7, Castro offers the concluding book of his comprehensive Mickey Mantle biographical trilogy.
Mickey Mantle is one of baseball's all-time greats. Playing for the New York Yankees for his entire professional career, Mantle was named to the All-Star team for 11 consecutive seasons, won three MVP awards, and was a seven-time World Series champion. He quickly became an icon who achieved hero status even while playing through injuries for most of his career.
Castro concludes that Mantle did fulfill the dream he had rejected on but feared he hadn't achieved: "I really do believe I would be way up at the top of everything if I hadn't been injured," he said. "When I was healthy, I really believe I was the best of anyone I ever saw play."
Drawing from hundreds of interviews with ex-teammates, friends, and family, Castro masterfully blends Mantle's public and private selves to present a fully rounded portrait of this complex, misunderstood national hero.
Historian and best-selling author Tony Castro explores the life of the great cultural icon baseball slugger against a 20th century backdrop of America's romance with boldness, its celebration of muscle, and its comfort in power during a time when might did make right. But if Mantle symbolized the great expectations of America in the 1950s, it also epitomized the dashed dreams of a troubled generation in the 1960s and its unrealistic hopes for achievement. Mickey Mantle: America's Prodigal Son is both an explosive biography of one of the world's most fascinating and enduring sports heroes and a telling look at the American society of his time. During six years of research, Tony Castro interviewed more than 500 friends, teammates, lovers, acquaintances, and drinking buddies of one of America's most famous sports heroes.