I was too busy last week and did not get around to posting this, but here is a Q&A with Jeff Leen, for Gelf Magazine that I wrote about his new book, "The Queen of the Ring: Sex, Muscles, Diamonds, and the Making of an American Legend."
Women's wrestling is not quite my cup of tea, but the book was well written and I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the amount of research Leen did in writing the book. The book is about Mildred Burke, who as Leen describes is the "Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth of women's wrestling." She also aligned herself with her husband/manager Billy Wolfe, who beat the shit out of her, cheated on her with tens of women and in the end stole all her money. It's a pretty entertaining story if you're into that sort of thing.
Leen, a managing editor at The Washington Post, spent five years researching Burke, who reigned as the women's wrestling professional champion from the 1930s through the 1950s. Almost every hour that Leen was not working for the Post, he was dedicating to the book. He even spent his vacation driving with his wife through the route that Burke's wrestling circuit followed.
His notes on sources for the book stretch 57 pages. As a lazy blogger, this is all incredibly mind-blowing to me. I hope one day to have half the work ethic Leen has.
Here's my article with an excerpt as usual: