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The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal,…
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The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to… (vuoden 2004 painos)

– tekijä: Neal Bascomb (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3961647,496 (4.02)11
They said no human could ever run a mile in less than four minutes. In 1952, three amazing athletes begged to differ. This is their extraordinary tale.
Jäsen:mjowen
Teoksen nimi:The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It
Kirjailijat:Neal Bascomb (Tekijä)
Info:Houghton Mifflin (2004), Edition: First Edition, 288 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It (tekijä: Neal Bascomb)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 16) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Terrific. Really well-written - especially for a sports book. Very exciting, great character development and insight. ( )
  shaundeane | Sep 13, 2020 |
Gives the background to Basnnister achieving a 4 minute mile. We so often hear about how pundits were saying the four minute mile was humanly impossible. This book details the drama of three competitors who were all trying to be the first to achieve it. ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
I didn't finish this - too dry, too much focus on their various training regimines...what they ate, how often they ate, how many minutes they ran and when. The writing style was more like a newspaper or textbook....boring. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
The Perfect Mile is a story of how the first sub-four minute mile was run. The title actually refers to a later duel of the two top milers (and main characters of the novel) at the Empire Games in Vancouver, one of the greatest athletic races of all time.

In the 1950s, three runners started getting close to running a mile in four minutes, which sparked a global media frenzy to see who can manage it first. These men were an Englishman Roger Bannister, an Australian John Landy and an American Wes Santee.

What is remarkable about them is that they were all amateurs, college students who devoted much more time to studying and practical work related to their academic pursuits than to their athletic training, yet were still the best athletes of their time. The sheer iron determination and will exuded by these men, especially Bannister and Landy, who were at their universities or doing practical work all day and thus often trained at night, is mind-boggling and is causing me to reevaluate my own focus, determination and approach to work. To me, this is the biggest legacy of The Perfect Mile.

We are afforded an appropriate look into the personalities of these three runners, though on occasion it does seem that the author paints them in a slightly more favorable light than strictly necessary. This is especially noticeable in the case of the American braggart Santee, as the blame for his trouble-making behavior is sometimes laid squarely at the feet of others, most prominently amateur athletic officials. In fact, I wonder if a non-American author would have even afforded Santee a status equal to that of the other two milers, given that Santee a) never ran a mile below 4:00 and b) wasn't even in the Perfect Mile race.

The author also quite skillfully paints the picture of contemporary society, particularly as relating to sports. For example, how training worked at that time, how the media covered such events, the quality of tracks, the moral conundrums surrounding pace-making, the ideal of amateur athleticism, the budding sports professionalism, nutrition and so forth. He is, however, prone to a little editorializing, especially regarding the ancient sports history and training methods.

A third of the book is devoted to notes, references, acknowledgements and index, however, it would still be a decent length book, even if you were to take all those out. It is clear, and commendable, that the author had done extensive research prior to writing, including the interviews with all three main protagonists.

Recommended if you are a fan of running at all, or just if you want to see how far sheer determination can carry a person. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
When I say I'm a couch potato, I mean it in the sense that you might describe someone as a "confirmed bachelor": Is, was and always will be, by willful unceasing choice. So I can see you looking askance at my picking up a book about the men who were vying to run the first sub-4-minute mile. To which I say, I also read a book about a bunch of nerds running a student newspaper, and oh wait where was I going with this?

Anyway, Neal Bascomb writes one hell of a thriller. All around the same time, three very different men from three continents independently decided they wanted to be the first to break what was thought by some to be an unimpeachable barrier of human achievement: Running one mile in under four minutes.

Bascomb does an excellent job of pacing the story perfectly, though he was greatly helped by actual historical events unfolding in a pretty perfect ready-for-Hollywood fashion. There's the hardscrabble American running out of poverty to the University of Kansas, or two British Empireans (a budding English doctor and an aspiring Australian scientist) ran - before the professionalization of track and field - like no person ever had.

It's engaging throughout, and my only quibble is one you frequently find in historical books: Make sure you skip the pictures until you reach the end of the book, or the captions will spoil the story. That aside, picking up this book will get you as dialed in as the runners: It never really drags, and it'll keep you going until you finally reach the end. ( )
  thoughtbox | May 27, 2016 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 16) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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They said no human could ever run a mile in less than four minutes. In 1952, three amazing athletes begged to differ. This is their extraordinary tale.

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