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Major Taylor: The Inspiring Story of a Black Cyclist and the Men Who Helped Him Achieve Worldwide Fame [Hardcover]

Greg LeMond , Conrad Kerber , Terry Kerber

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Book Description

6 May 2014
In the wake of the Tour de France's fallen heroes, the story of one of history's most legendary cyclists provides a much-needed antidote. In 1907 the world's most popular athlete was not Cy Young or Ty Cobb. Rather, he was a black bicycle racer named "Major" Taylor. In his day, Taylor became a spiritual and athletic idol. He was the fastest man in America and a champion who prevailed over unspeakable cruelty. The men who aided him were among the most colorful to emerge from the era. When hotel and restaurant operators denied Taylor food and lodgings, forcing him to sleep in horse stables and to race hungry, there was a benevolent racer-turned-trainer named Birdie Munger, who took Taylor under his wing and into his home. Then along came Arthur Zimmerman, an internationally famous bike racer, who gently mentored Taylor when some riders drew the color line and refused to race against him. Taylor's manager, pugnacious Irishman and famed Broadway producer William Brady, stood up for him when track owners tried barring him from competition. From the Old World came a rakishly handsome, mustachioed sports promoter named Victor Breyer, who lured Taylor overseas for a dramatic, Seabiscuit versus War Admiral--like match race that would be widely remembered a quarter century later. With a foreword by World Champion and three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, this spellbinding saga of fortitude, grace, forgiveness, and a man's unyielding will to win against the greatest of odds is sure to become a classic that will be enjoyed by everyone.

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"[Major Taylor's] entire life story, deftly recited in all its drama by authors Conrad Kerber and Terry Kerber, is the stuff of legends ..." --Greg LeMond, from the foreword "An eloquently written story of a forgotten hero whose name should now become known worldwide. This meticulously researched narrative brings back the larger-than-life characters of this forgotten era, highlighting a sport and an athlete that became the daily obsession for millions of Americans, Europeans, and Australians. Major Taylor is a wonderful reading history of track racing in all its glory, trauma, suspense, and heartbreak." --Phil Liggett, NBC cycling commentator and "The Voice of Cycling" "The Kerbers reenact turn-of-the-century events in captivating detail. The racing scenes are like none other in the annals of cycling authorship. It's as if you are there, in the grandstands in 1901, feeling the gripping tension, smelling the saddle leather, seeing the strain of the riders' every pedal stroke. Each breath of the racers becomes yours, charging toward the finish line and unprecedented fame." --Paul Sherwen, NBC cycling analyst and former pro cyclist "Major Taylor is so much more than just a story of a bicycle racer from long ago. It's suspense-packed, page-turning nonfiction that feels like a novel." --Harvey Mackay, author of the New York Times bestseller Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive "The fact that the greatest living athlete in the world in 1907 was a bicyclist was enough to capture my attention. The dramatic story--and the heroic fable--that followed kept me turning pages. Major Taylor belongs in the pantheon of great bicycling literature." --Dan Buettner, National Geographic fellow, New York Times bestselling author of Blue Zones, and three-time cycling world record holder "Perhaps the most important book ever written about cycling in America. Before Magic, before Ali, before Jesse Owens there was Major Taylor. A person who was truly born to ride! This is a must read by anyone interested in the transcendent power of the bicycle as a vehicle of real freedom. Long may Major Taylor's legend live."--Bob Roll, NBC cycling analyst and former professional cyclist "A true page turner... Detailed, emotional, heroic, Major Taylor is a significant work of non-fiction that reads like fiction." -- Epoch Times "The book is meticulously researched and gracefully written... [a] highly engaging look into a lost world."--Minnesota Post

About the Author

Conrad Kerber is a senior partner in a suburban Minneapolis investment firm for which he is in charge of writing, customer communications, and broker supervision. He lives in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Terry Kerber is a senior partner in an investment firm for which he is in charge of client wealth management. He lives in Deephaven, Minnesota.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Powerful and Inspiring 30 Jun 2014
By David McNally - Published on
I confess to being a sucker for an inspirational story. However, Major Taylor is exceptional. Exquisitely written, so well researched, this book is about one of the most amazing athletes in American history. Unknown to me before reading the book, I was entranced by this story of a black man who overcame the extreme racial prejudice of his time (late 19th, early 20th century) to become the most famous cyclist in the world. At that time bike racing was the premiere sport and Major Taylor its hero. I cannot recommend this book more highly. You will be thankful that through the determination, courage and example of people such as Major Taylor we actually do live in a better world.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Story 18 July 2014
By Nicholas T. Graham - Published on
I knew nothing about Major Taylor until I picked up this book and it was one of the most inspiring reads of the year. For one individual to achieve so much success, stay kind and true to their heart amongst intense racism is unbelievable. This is a must read book for any sports fan, any lover of bikes or anyone wanting to be inspired by all around greatness. He is a hero.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So pleased to see it's been published 29 July 2014
By John Macgowan - Published on
Congrats Terry! You did it! Wow you worked on this book for a long time. Thank you for the opportunity to read your early draft of the book. So pleased to see it's been published.

My Great Grandfather Ernest raced bicycles during the era around the turn of the century. Regrettably the only thing I know about his racing is contained in a few pictures that I found after my Grandfather had passed. Your book helped to bring me understanding of racing back then :)

I'll be promoting it to my readers and listeners at > many are outdoor cyclists, as well as teaching indoors.
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