Essay: George Plimpton: The Professional Amateur

ON the walls of George Plimpton's apartment and office, amid the photographs, posters, paintings, prints, drawings, letters, manuscript pages, animal heads, odd hats and assorted other mementos that take the place of wallpaper, are several cartoons. In one, a patient about to go under the knife looks up at the masked surgeon and plaintively asks: "Wait a minute! How do I know you're not George Plimpton?" In another, set in some imaginary banana republic whose government is about to be overthrown, one mustachioed officer demands of his coconspirators: "Before we proceed with the...

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