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Amateur, dilettante, prototypical DIY-er—all these terms might describe George Plimpton, though he called himself a participatory journalist. Descended from prominent east-coast families, he had an extraordinary intellect and an unbridled curiosity that led him into some undignified pursuits. His years editing the eclectic literary journal the Paris Review provided the springboard for a series of articles and books chronicling his misadventures as an unqualified rookie in baseball, football, hockey, and golf. (He later branched out as a circus trapeze artist and a percussionist for the New York Philharmonic, where he tried Leonard Bernstein's patience.) Documentary makers Tom Bean and Luke Poling, aided by a trove of Plimpton's recorded interviews and speeches, reveal the complex man behind the clown.

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Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself

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