Bill McGann

"Author of The Story of the Tour de France"
Bill McGann, author of The Story of the Tour de France
Helpful votes received on reviews: 95% (130 of 137)
Location: Cherokee Village, AR, USA



Top Reviewer Ranking: 490,496 - Total Helpful Votes: 130 of 137
Melisende of Jerusalem by Margaret Tranovich
Melisende of Jerusalem by Margaret Tranovich
After capturing Jerusalem and slaughtering its inhabitants in a horrifying bloodbath, the soldiers of the first crusade established a thoroughgoing feudal empire. The kingdom of Jerusalem was ruled first by Godfrey of Bouillon (who refused to take the title of king) and then by his brother Baldwin and his descendents.

Melisende was the daughter of Baldwin II and an Armenian princess. Because the couple was without male issue, Melisende was reared as the crown princess, destined to rule the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The early Crusaders had, at least as far as their Moslem subjects were concerned, appalling health standards, which meant terrible infant mortality which struck male… Read more
Up the Road: Cycling's Modern Era from LeMond to A&hellip by Samuel Abt
5.0 out of 5 stars Up the Road, 17 July 2008
Americans traveling abroad who yearn for a bit of news from home can always turn to the International Herald Tribune. Now and again the reader of the IHT gets lucky and there is a short essay by Samuel Abt on some aspect of bicycle racing. Abt's essays are always interesting and always well written. He has a gift for summing up a situation in a few short words, probably a requirement for a newspaper columnist who is given just a small part of the editorial page.

My favorite Abt bon mot remains this sentence describing the way a supremely fit and somewhat arrogant Laurent Fignon was treating a sub-par Bernard Hinault in the 1984 Tour de France, "If you couldn't kick a man when he… Read more
Uphill Battle: Cycling's Great Climbers by Owen Mulholland
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Mountains weren't added to the Tour de France until 1905. Tour boss Henri Desgrange added them only because a staffer incessantly hounded him until, finally worn down, Desgrange capitulated. At first, the mountains in the Tour de France were the more modest ascents of the Vosges and Alps. In 1910 the Tour added the Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and the Aubisque, giant Pyrenean climbs. A year later came the high Alps.

The addition of hard climbing transformed the Tour. The men who have the ability to bound up the mountains (the Italians have a special word for these riders: Scattista) have fascinated cycle race fans since that race in 1905. Sometimes they are specialists who can… Read more