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Seabiscuit: The True Story of Three Men and a Racehorse

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Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes:

Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.

Author Laura Hillenbrand brilliantly re-creates a universal underdog story, one that proves life is a horse race.

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The true story of three men and their dreams for a racehorse – Seabiscuit – that symbolised a pivotal moment in American history, as the 20th-century’s greatest nation found the courage to bet on itself to win against the odds.

In 1936 the habits of 19th-century America were finally consigned to history, just as Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” was published. In their place, modern America was born. But what defined this new era? Nothing more than the story of Seabiscuit, a stunted colt with asymmetrical knees that had for two years been hacked around no-good race tracks leading to permanent leg damage.

Yet by 1937 Seabiscuit could draw crowds of 60,000 and had more newspaper column inches devoted to him than Mussolini, Hitler or Roosevelt, his popularity peaking during his appearances at the Santa Anita Handicap. America had gone to the races for the first time since the Depression and fallen in love with a misshapen colt of great character. Now it wanted a winner. ‘Seabiscuit’ is also the story of three men: Tom Smith, a former Wild West showman was the trainer; Red Pollard, abandoned by his poverty-stricken family at a race track became the rider; and Charles Howard, a pioneer car manufacturer in San Francisco in the 1920s was the owner and financier. These three combined to create the legend of Seabiscuit and epitomise a dream for the emerging new America.

*Pages yellowed.*

Additional Info

Author Laura Hillenbrand
Publisher Fourth Estate
Place London
Year 2003
ISBN 9780007167043
Binding Paperback
Condition Fair
Comments Pages yellowed.

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