The Race Against the Stasi and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£15.19
  • RRP: £18.99
  • You Save: £3.80 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Race Against the Stas... has been added to your Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £4.46
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Race Against the Stasi: The Incredible Story of Dieter Wiedemann, The Iron Curtain and The Greatest Cycling Race on Earth Hardcover – 4 Sep 2014


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£15.19
£9.87 £14.05

Trade In Promotion


Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • From mountain bikes to cycle computers, find 1000s of products in our bikes store.


Frequently Bought Together

The Race Against the Stasi: The Incredible Story of Dieter Wiedemann, The Iron Curtain and The Greatest Cycling Race on Earth + Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France + Goggles & Dust: Images from Cycling's Glory Days
Price For All Three: £40.77

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £4.46
Trade in The Race Against the Stasi: The Incredible Story of Dieter Wiedemann, The Iron Curtain and The Greatest Cycling Race on Earth for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £4.46, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (4 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781313083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781313084
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Herbie Sykes is a sports journalist, writer and historian. He "studied" at a Lincolnshire secondary modern school, his chosen specialized subjects Manchester City Football Club, punk rock and the Nicaraguan Solidarity Campaign. Sykes slipped ignominiously away from Academia aged sixteen, armed with a working knowledge of the sweeper system, John Innes Potting Compost and the rudiments of socialism.

He began the long march to manhood by attempting - without notable success - to sell expensive TV and HIFI equipment to Lincolnshire Farmers. Though somewhat at variance with his (admittedly flimsy) socialist convictions, the "work" enabled him to save enough money to visit the Giro d'Italia, Italy's great bike race. More beautiful and less predictable than its French counterpart, the Giro would become a source of fascination, and an annual pilgrimage.

In 2005 Sykes met Franco Balmamion, the little heralded winner of the 1962 and '63 editions. When Balmamion revealed the secrets of the extraordinary 1962 race, won amidst a backdrop of vicious infighting within his team, Sykes felt compelled to write the story. "The Eagle of the Canavese" appeared in May 2008, and was enthusiastically received; an antidote to the slew of Tour de France books which invariably appear during the English Summer. Cycling Weekly, the enthusiasts bible, called it "a gem of a book".

Sykes' second book, "Maglia Rosa - Triumph and Tragedy at the Giro d'Italia", is a lavishly illustrated history of the race, the first to appear in English. It was published in March 2011 to widespread critical acclaim. The Guardian wrote; "...A sumptuous history of the race accompanied by marvellously evocative photographs." The work won the podiumcafe.com book of the year, and was revised and reprinted in 2013.

"Coppi - Inside the Legend of the Campionissimo", was released in November 2102. It tells the story of Italy's greatest ever sportsman through the photography he provoked, and through the testimony of those who raced with, for and against him. It was shortlisted for the British Sports Book of the Year award.

Sykes' fourth book, "The Race against the Stasi", was published in September 2014. It's a biography of Dieter Wiedemann, an East German racing cyclist who defected in 1964. It examines the mythical Peace Race, and the politicization of sport during the Cold War. Uniquely in the English language, it also reproduces its subject's Stasi file. It was one of the Guardian's sports books of the year for 2014.

Product Description

Review

"gripping book was as unputdownable as the best espionage novels."

(Seven Day Cyclist)

"A fascinating tale"

(Bikes Etc)

"moving and enjoyable"

(The Observer)

“The story of Dieter Wiedemann is an intriguing tale, encompassing a potent combination of politics, sport, love and betrayal. Herbie Sykes impressively balances the political and the personal, making The Race Against the Stasi an enjoyable, compelling and highly recommended read.”

(The View East)

"wonderful book"

(Huffington Post)

'a window into a world that no longer exists but which conditioned the lives of millions of people… most definitely a book worth reading'

(The Jersey Pocket)

'A hugely rewarding read and a tour de force of excellent journalism'

(Brendan Gallagher TourofBritain.co.uk)

'more than the story of a cyclist, more than a story about cycling... it's the story of a man forgotten by history but who deserves to be remembered, not just for the life he lived, but for the way the story of that life has been told.'

(Feargal McKay Podium Café)

‘a great book that mixes a variety of source materials to tell the story of a cyclist… a story that deserves to be told’

(INRNG.com)

'incredibly impressive… a monumental work of great credit to its author and principal subjects, in equal parts social and sporting history and may well be one of the finest books i have ever had the pleasure of reading.’

(The Washing Machine Post)

About the Author

HERBIE SYKES is a cycling journalist, historian and author of The Eagle of Canavese, about Franco Balmamion, Maglia Rosa: Triumph and Tragedy at the Giro d'Italia, and Coppi: Inside the Legend of Campionissimo

Sykes lives in Turin, and writes for a number of cycling publications.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Noggin the nog on 28 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dieter Wiederman ? never heard of him. But then again I'd never heard of Franco Balmamion before I read Herbie Sykes's first book The Eagle of the Canavese which turned out to be a joy to read and very historically educational about life in mid twentieth century Italy. His following two books were very straightforward cycling books both beautifully written in his " tongue in cheek wry style " also superbly illustrated. This offering is a total departure in style and content and as you will find out; quite necessarily so.

Sykes has written the harrowing story of Dieter as it were, on two rails............ I thought the more interesting part for me, as an old racing cyclist, would be about the racing / training etc behind the Iron curtain, however this turned out not to be the case. Having spent several years working on V bombers in the RAF and being warned to be careful with our speech in public places we were briefed about the infamous KGB and STASI and their evil methods of procuring information, and so to find a book written by one of my favourite authors covering two subjects of great interest to me made the buying decision easy.

If you want a book that only deals with the usual run of the mill cycling stories of how long the stage was and how quickly it was covered, I think this is NOT the ideal book for you. Sykes does delve very deeply into the sculldugery and propaganda tied up in the racing scene behind the iron curtain so you will not be disappointed. However if you are a thinking cyclist, more interested in the physiological pain the the eastern block inflicted on it's riders and their families then it certainly IS for you.

The second rail.........It soon becomes evident a great deal of very difficult research has gone into this book.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gavo64 on 8 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I read this ‘cover to cover’ over the weekend – an un-put-downable Trojan horse of a journey. At its heart, the story of the growing love of a boy for a girl, with the backdrop of a treacherous state, politicising every aspect of the daily trudge in post war East Germany. I discovered Sykes endearing writing style in Rouleur and latterly Procycling, and from there his first book about Franco Balmamion. I love my sport, but I like a bit more from a book than gear ratios or a blow by blow account of who did what, when and this book delivers on many levels. In summary, this is a great cycling story but with enough substance to inform, enthrall, despair and delight – in equal measure. Chapeau Mr Sykes
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By grmundy on 14 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having previously read " The Eagle of the Canavese" and "Maglia Rosa - Triumph & Tragedy at the Giro D'Italia" by Herbie Sykes i was very much looking forward to reading " The Race Against The Stasi". I was not disappointed … The story of Dieter Wiederman and his defection to the west is fascinating, yet at the same time heartbreaking . Reading the Stasi files included in the book makes you realise the brutality of the regime behind the iron curtain and the life that Dieter left behind to pursue a life with the girl he loved in the west, leaving his family behind to suffer the consequences of his defection.
I found that once i got into the book i couldn't put it down.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Jones on 7 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very good book which I thoroughly enjoyed BUT it doesn't really work on the Kindle. There are extracts from letters and Stasi files which appear as images of the original and are just too small to read even on the kindle reader on a PC.

If you want to read this then buy the hard copy. This book should NOT have been released on the Kindle!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Hayes on 27 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read all of Herbies books and they all do the same thing. You buy them to read about cycling and you end up reading about much more. From the Eagle of the Canavese I learnt about northern Italy, politics, industry and perseverance, and in the race against the stasi ive learnt about love, loyalty, national pride, and what we are capable of doing to each other on a national and personal level.....with cycling woven throughout. herbie is direct and opinionated which is always refreshing. A great, emerging writer who shouldn't be regarded as a great cycling author but as a great author whatever he tackles. Loved it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelly H on 10 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Race Against the Stasi is a powerful tale, encompassing a potent combination of politics, sport, love and betrayal. The story of Dieter Wiedemann, a small town boy with a love of cycling, who became one of East Germany’s sporting elite before defecting to West Germany in 1964, provide some great insights into life in former communist East Germany, and the politicisation of sport behind the Iron Curtain. Herbie Sykes impressively balances the political and the personal, making this an enjoyable, compelling and highly recommended read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Guilherme Ribeiro on 28 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful book, perhaps the best book by Herbie Sykes!!! Amazing research, it provides a unique insight of the daily life of GDR, and the horrible repressive system that existed, and also the way sportsmen live on the Eastern Countries.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback