Major by Todd Balf
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By Todd Balf


A Black Athlete, a White Era, and the Fight to Be the World's Fastest Human Being

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Format: Paperback / softback

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Major by Todd Balf

Book Description

The story of a man who transcended the handicaps of race to become America s first African American mega sports celebrity At the turn of the 20th century, hundreds of lightning-fast racers won the hearts and minds of a bicycling-crazed public. Scientists studied them, newspapers glorified them, and millions of dollars in purse money were awarded to them. Major Taylor aimed to be the fastest of them all. Taylor s most formidable and ruthless opponent-a man nicknamed the "Human Engine" was Floyd McFarland. One man was white, one black; one from a storied Virginia family, the other descended from Kentucky slaves; one celebrated as a hero, one trying to secure his spot in a sport he dominated. The only thing they had in common was the desire to be named the fastest man alive. Finally, in 1904, both men headed to Australia for a much-anticipated title match to decide who would claim the coveted title. "Major" is the story of a superstar nobody saw coming, the account of a fierce rivalry that would become an archetypal tale of white versus black in the 20th century, and, most of all, the tale of our nation s first black sports celebrity."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780307236593
ISBN-10: 0307236595
Format: Paperback / softback
(204mm x 135mm x 17mm)
Pages: 306
Imprint: Three Rivers Press (CA)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (CA)
Publish Date: 27-Jan-2009
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Todd Balf

TODD BALF is the author of the "New York Times" bestseller T"he Last River "and "The Darkest Jungle." He is a former senior editor for O"utside "magazine.

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