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Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance,…
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Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the… (edició 2021)

de Adin Dobkin (Autor)

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564377,391 (3.71)No n'hi ha cap
Títol:Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France
Autors:Adin Dobkin (Autor)
Informació:Little A (2021), 318 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France de Adin Dobkin

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Es mostren totes 4
Although I was very interested in the details about the riders and about this early Tour race right at the end of the is tough reading with all of the interplay about the war mixed in because of what it did to the route of the Tour itself. It made perfect sense to include it but I must admit that I had a hard time grasping much of it. The book itself...what an undertaking by the author---no wonder he wrote an extensive description of how he did it at the end of the book! ( )
  nyiper | Oct 11, 2021 |
I wanted to like this book more than I did. There was a lot of description of men riding bikes--I couldn't keep up with who was who. I was hoping for more backstory--there was some, but just not compelling enough to care. ( )
  spounds | Oct 6, 2021 |
Sprinting Through No Man's Land by Adin Dobkin is an excellent story, unevenly told.

Dobkin's topic is the Tour de France of 1919. The Great War - World War I - had only been over for seven months. Many of the participants, and the race organizer, had all served during the war, leaving little time to train or prepare. Organizers scrambled to find a route around France that would enable the race to go on, even though the course would inevitably take riders through war ravaged areas. Further, lack of conversion of industry from a war footing back to peace time production meant that bike tubes and tires were in short supply, leaving riders to supply their own. Given the wartime damage to the roads they traveled this was a serious issue. Because of these factors, 67 racers started the race, but only 11 finished.

I think Dobkin did a pretty good job providing the war context around which the race happened and balancing that with the race events themselves. The story moves quickly through the first few chapters, and then again as the race continues. Unfortunately Dobkin chose to insert five chapters of material unrelated to the race at intervals in the book. To the extent that they offer additional context around France and World War I these chapters work, but they disrupted the flow of the story and made the overall book seem more disjointed than it needed to be.

I give Sprinting Through No Man's Land 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐ - I liked this book. Anyone who is a fan of endurance sports, and the Tour de France in particular, would like it too, as would those interested in the history of the Great War. However, I recommend if you pick this book up, that you read the numbered chapters straight through, and then, if you want more context, go back and read the five named chapters. I think that will make for a better reading experience, and frankly I wish I'd done it that way.

Note: This review is for Amazon Prime First Reads Early Access ebook. These early edition First Reads are provided free to Amazon Prime members, with no obligation to review. The book is generally available July 1st, 2021. ( )
  stevesbookstuff | Jun 22, 2021 |
The Tour de France is established each year as an endurance race that lasts for about an entire month and encompasses the entire range of French lands. In 1919, following the armistice ending World War One, the Tour resumed after a multi-year hiatus. It included areas in the northeast that were decimated from warfare. Many of the riders, too, had personally experienced the tumults of war. The French people needed something to boost morale as they began the long task of rebuilding. Dobkin combines all these tales together into a coherent and intriguing piece of literature.

The course was particularly long and hard that year. The riders could not use vehicles to pace, additional bikes to replace, or even extra help in repairs. Only an astounding eleven riders completed the race out of the seventy-something who began the trek. The race, like the war, was a feat of attrition and endurance.

By tying individual stories into the piece, Dobkin maintains human interest while reaching into their histories with the military. Photographs accompany each chapter to bring the scenery to the readers’ minds. It is difficult to tell a story of endurance without becoming repetitive, but by bringing in the cultural history of the war, Dobkin avoids that pitfall.

In normal years, the Tour’s athletes, facing massive mountain climbs in the Pyrenees and the Alps, tend to inspire fans. After the embittering war, France needed the Tour to lead it into a new world. Sports, at its best, guides society into embracing its better self. Such is no different with this story. The 1919 Tour reminded France that it needed strategy, endurance, hope, and a bit of luck to rebuild.

This book has appeal to fans of European history and of sports. It can educate readers of one group about the other group’s interests. I learned much about cycling and France through this work. Despite the male bias that comprised the characters of this tale, Dobkin even manages to tie women’s contributions into the narrative. Overall, the variety of themes and stories weave an interesting tapestry where none might have existed to the untrained eye. ( )
  scottjpearson | Jun 9, 2021 |
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