Very Good. Item #5672
New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1949. Stated Second Printing. Signed on half title with brief inscription by Claire Ruth, Babe Ruth's second wife, dated June 16th, 1949 to media producer and and public relations executive Leonard Safir, brother of journalist William Safire. This volume most recently from William Safire's personal library.
Octavo; 250pp. Red cloth with black titling. Pictorial endpapers, with illustrations throughout. Missing dust jacket. Title page clipped to omit "Babe Ruth" as author, with clean cut extending to fore-edge. Boards a bit edgeworn with a few runs to cloth along top edge. Spine soiled and a bit rolled. Front endpapers toned from laid-in newsclipping. Some marginal bracketing in pencil throughout. Binding is sound.
Newsclipping is from the July 26, 1973 edition of the New York times and contains a lengthy interview with Claire Ruth ahead of Hank Aaron's breaking Ruth's home run record. Top center of the same page shows local air times and channels for the Senate Watergate Hearings.
Leonard Safir worked in journalism like his brother, starting out at New York's The Daily Mirror before serving in WWII. After the war he worked as a producer on the Tex and Jinx Radio Program, hosted by Tex and Jinx McCrary, who William Safire counted as early mentors. Safire said in Leonard's obituary that "It was Len who introduced me to the world of writing."
The book itself, written in the first person "as told to Bob Considine," was largely told to Considine by sports writer Fred Lieb, who had a more extensive history covering Ruth and coined the phrase "The house that Ruth built." The account is still loose enough that some reviews describe it as a novel rather than a biography. The book was also the basis for the apparently dreadful 1949 film of the same name, co-written by Considine, which a review on Rotten Tomatoes calls "The Plan 9 of Outer Space of baseball biopics."