A Full Cup: Sir Thomas Lipton's Extraordinary Life and His Quest for the America's Cup

Michael D'Antonio, Riverhead, $26.95 (358p) ISBN 9781594487606
Lipton, the world's first millionaire sportsman, revolutionized the world of tea before sinking millions of dollars into a thwarted quest to win the America's Cup for England. D'Antonio excels at capturing the excitement of the races, and the good sportsmanship that endeared Lipton to America and England both. Lipton seems to have vanished into history, and D'Antonio is to be commended for capturing him so thoroughly but the author falls short in effectively exploring two intriguing, and important, aspects of Lipton's life: His long residence with another man, and his support for Irish independence (while maintaining close ties with English royalty). While D'Antonio does point out that "if Lipton had relationships with men, indiscretion would inevitably mean the loss of his reputation, his business and possibly his freedom," he leaves it at that, suggesting a choice to avoid less savory aspects of Lipton's life and giving the impression that the author is treading water. D'Antonio deserves praise for bringing Lipton's remarkable life to our attention, even if we end up wishing he'd probed further. Photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 09/20/2010
Release date: 07/01/2010
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