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.
"Muchnick on wrestling is a surreal thing." --Roy Blount, Jr.
"Muchnick on wrestling is a surreal thing." -- Roy Blount, Jr.
"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.
"Loaded with detailed and well-researched goodies." --"New York Post"
"The only problem with this wonderful book is that it ends too soon." "--BeyondChron"
""Wrestling Babylon" is the literary link between fans (including closet intellectuals) and intellectuals (including closet fans)." --John Heindenry, executive editor, "The Week" magazine
"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"
"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
"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"
"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
Number Of Pages: 200
Published: 1st April 2007
Publisher: ECW Press,Canada
Country of Publication: CA
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.29