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Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal

Overview


Irvin Muchnick — a widely published writer and nephew of the late, legendary St. Louis wrestling promoter Sam Muchnick — has produced a book unlike any other on the astonishing growth of professional wrestling and its profound impact on mainstream sports and society. In Wrestling Babylon, he traces the demise of wrestling’s old Mafia-like territories and the rise of a national marketing base thanks to cable television, deregulation and a culture-wide nervous breakdown. Naturally, the figure of WWE’s Vince ...
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Overview


Irvin Muchnick — a widely published writer and nephew of the late, legendary St. Louis wrestling promoter Sam Muchnick — has produced a book unlike any other on the astonishing growth of professional wrestling and its profound impact on mainstream sports and society. In Wrestling Babylon, he traces the demise of wrestling’s old Mafia-like territories and the rise of a national marketing base thanks to cable television, deregulation and a culture-wide nervous breakdown. Naturally, the figure of WWE’s Vince McMahon lurks throughout, but equally evident is the public’s late-empire lust for bread, circuses, and blood. As this book demonstrates, the more cartoonishly unreal wrestling got, the more chillingly real it became. What truly distinguishes Wrestling Babylon, however, is Muchnick’s ability to show how professional wrestling has become the ur-carnival for a culture that feeds on escapist displays of humiliation, revenge, fantasy characters, and sex. His People magazine article on Hulk Hogan blew the lid off the drug abuse of the sport’s signature superstar. His award-winning Penthouse profile of the ill-starred Von Erich clan was the first to connect the dots between wrestling, televangelism, and MTV-style production values. His never-before-published investigation of the death of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s girlfriend suggests the cover-up of a murder. The book’s appendix — a comprehensive listing of the dozens of wrestlers who died prematurely over the last generation, with little or no attention — is both a valuable resource for wrestling historians and a shocking document of the ruthless way sports entertainment eats its own.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Irv Muchnick knows wrestling like Anna Wintour knows fashion, and his intriguing collection of ring tales is written with passion and savage humor."  —Frank Deford, bestselling author and National Public Radio contributor

"Wrestling Babylon is the literary link between fans (including closet intellectuals) and intellectuals (including closet fans)."  —John Heindenry, executive editor, The Week magazine

"The wrestling version of Alice in Wonderland: You fall into the hole and you discover a world you never dreamed of. But Muchnick didn't dream this stuff up, he dug it up."  —Scott Ostler, sports columnist, San Francisco Chronicle

"Muchnick on wrestling is a surreal thing."  —Roy Blount, Jr.

"Like his uncle Sam Muchnick, Irv is a great reporter. But Irv is also a great writer."  —Larry Matysik, author, Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends of Professional Wrestling

"A few hundred years from now some archeologist is going to dig up a copy, alongside a box of men’s neckties, and wonder which aspect of our culture was stranger . . . In a world of timid, formulaic scrivenings on sports and entertainment and sports entertainment, Wrestling Babylon is a sock on the jaw."  —Bert Randolph Sugar, from the Foreword

"The only problem with this wonderful book is that it ends too soon."  —BeyondChron

"Loaded with detailed and well-researched goodies."  —New York Post

New York Post
A new book that Vince McMahon no doubt wishes was never published.
Pro Wrestling Torch
A satisfying mix of factual evidence and sharp humor . . . A must-have.
411mania.com
The book is a great even-handed examination of the business and how important it is to our way of life.
Sacramento News & Review
Provides the missing literary link between fans and intellectuals. . . . Brims with [Muchnick's] unique passion and humor.
The Daily Collegian
Babylon . . . tells interesting tales.
BeyondChron
The only problem with this wonderful book is that it ends too soon.
Slam! Sports Canoe.ca
A good read, both for fans of Muchnick but more so for those who are not familiar with his work.
Rocky Mountain News
Muchnick dishes dirt on alleged behind-the-scenes improprieties of well-known figures like . . . Vince McMahon.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550227611
  • Publisher: ECW Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 504,353
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author


Irvin Muchnick is a writer whose work has appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times to Penthouse. He is the nephew of legendary wrestling promoter Sam Muchnick. He lives in Berkeley, California.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

    Very condescending.

    I been very disappointed with this book. On one hand, he looks like he may be fair on some of the wrestling scandals. Other times, he looks like nothing more than a Vince McMahon mark. Let's face it. McMahon ruined wrestling.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2011

    bad

    terrible

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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