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The authors begin by explaining the Civil War origins of LSU's fighting tiger tradition and describing early representations of the mascot. They then chronicle the reigns of each of the five Mikes: Mike I (1936-1956), who enjoyed late-night joyrides through Baton Rouge courtesy of his student caretakers; the mysterious Mike II (1956-1958), who legend says was actually two tigers; Mike III (1958-1976), the only tiger to witness a national championship football season; Mike IV (1976-1990), who both escaped his habitat and was held hostage in it; and Mike V (1990-present), reported by his caretakers to have the most amiable personality to date.
Over one hundred photographs bring the animals to life and attest to the university community's enduring devotion to its five-hundred-pound pet. Throughout, Baker and Bivin offer fascinating details about the unique challenges of keepinga school icon that is still very much a wild animal. They also cover many basic facts about tigers and their conservation. Through the efforts of all who have cared for the Bengal mascot, Mike the Tiger's role has expanded beyond rallying school spirit to include educating hundreds of thousands of people about one of earth’s most magnificent creatures.
An entertaining history of a remarkable living tradition, Mike the Tiger is a treat for all who ever said, "Meet me at the tiger cage," for all who still shiver when Mike roars before a football game, and for all who will forever bleed purple and gold.
Posted November 2, 2007
My 8 year old son received a copy for his birthday. This book is wonderful for young LSU fans - he loved reading it and my 4 year old love listening to the stories and looking at the pictures. As LSU alumni, my husband and I learned lots of interesting Mike 'trivia'. I am buying lots of copies to give as Christmas presents.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.