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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For many people, a great read; for motor racing fans, a "must read"
Up front, I need to acknowledge that I have almost no interest in automobile racing competition. However, I did enjoy seeing the 1966 film starring James Garner, Grand Prix, and reading James MacGregor's book, Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with NASCAR (2005). That said, I now acknowledge that A. J. Baime's Go Like Hell is one of the...
Published on 25 Jun. 2009 by Robert Morris

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
A compelling narrative on the battle between Ford and Ferrari at Le Mans in the 1960s told from the perspctives on the people who were there. It isn't perfect - the brief description of Levegh's crash in the 1955 race takes the lazy and discredited view that Hawthorn caused the incident by pulling across the road without warning, for example, and there are other examples...
Published 24 days ago by Mr. M. J. Willis


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For many people, a great read; for motor racing fans, a "must read", 25 Jun. 2009
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Up front, I need to acknowledge that I have almost no interest in automobile racing competition. However, I did enjoy seeing the 1966 film starring James Garner, Grand Prix, and reading James MacGregor's book, Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with NASCAR (2005). That said, I now acknowledge that A. J. Baime's Go Like Hell is one of the most entertaining as well as one of the most informative books I have read in many years. Moreover, it is much less about automotive racing than it is about the competition between two industrialists, Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari, to Dominate Formula One racing in the 1960s. However, viewed (as it should be) as a human drama, there are several other prominent characters who are centrally involved in the various conflicts: Lee Iacocca and his chief engineer, Donald Frey, Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, John Surtees, Ken Miles, Bruce McLaren, Walt Hangsden, and Mario Andretti.

As Charles McGrath points out in an article about Baime in The New York Times (6/09/09), "The centerpiece of the story is the quest by Henry Ford II, or the Deuce, as he was known, to end Ferrari's string of victories at Le Mans, the 24-hour road race that at the time was probably the world's most dangerous sporting event. He was convinced that Ford's racing success would translate into sales back home in the showroom, but he was also locked in a personal rivalry with the imperious Enzo Ferrari, head of the Italian car company. It took Ford three tries and countless millions, but he finally prevailed when a Ford GT40 Mk II, driven by Bruce McLaren, won at Le Mans in 1966."

Displaying the world-class skills of a cultural anthropologist and of a raconteur, Baime carefully guides his reader through a narrative of increasing tension and apprehension until Chapters 21-23 during which the 24-hour "Grand Prix of Endurance" is run at La Mans on a racetrack described in the Detroit News as "a cornfield airstrip in the jet age. It was built 50 years ago for cars that went 65 mph. Tomorrow [June 18] 55 race cars - some of them capable of 225 mph on the straightaway and all of them over the 130 mph class - will get off at 10 A.M. (Detroit time) and it will be a miracle if no one gets killed. Nobody is fearless. Some of these drivers are scared stiff." The climactic race in 1966 had an especially controversial conclusion, what was widely viewed as an "infamous photo finish" and won "by a technicality." The details are best revealed within the narrative, in context.

Baime provides a riveting account of the competition between Ferrari and Ford and their respective racing programs, competition creating tension that is almost palpable. He also celebrates the almost incomprehensible courage as well as athleticism, skills, and stamina of those who drive the Formula One cars, notably Phil Hill, John Surtees, Walt Hangsden, and especially Ken Miles. In the Epilogue, Baime answers a question most readers have after learning what happened at Le Mans in 1966: "And then what happened?" It would not spoil it for anyone who has yet to read this book to reveal that the major "players" in this compelling human drama were never quite the same again after that race.

For those such as I who have little (if any) interest in automobile racing competition, this is a great read. For those with such interest, it is a "must read."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling Read, 11 Feb. 2010
By 
DJB Steele "JB" (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Having read many books on the topic of the GT40 and its success this is a fantastic read and insight from both sides of the fence. Written in a style that keeps you reading and really putting you there so to speak. Would have been even better with additional pics of all the cars mentioned. I found this a great complimentary read to Racing In the Rain. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 8 Mar. 2015
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A compelling narrative on the battle between Ford and Ferrari at Le Mans in the 1960s told from the perspctives on the people who were there. It isn't perfect - the brief description of Levegh's crash in the 1955 race takes the lazy and discredited view that Hawthorn caused the incident by pulling across the road without warning, for example, and there are other examples of insufficient research into events used as asides. The story ends suddenly with the controversial 1-2-3 at the 1966 event without covering the 1967 campaign with the MkIV and the 1968-9 races won by John Wyer's MkIs. In fact, Wyer's role in making a success of the GT40 is somewhat glossed over in favour of giving the honours to Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles, when in fact Wyer's preferred approach of developing the MkI to gain reliability was later throughly vindicated. That said, the narrative doesn't shy away from showing the bad decisions and politics that plagued both Ford and Ferrari in the mid-60s, not least the decision to remove the GT40 from Wyer and shoehorn the 7-litre V8 into the car, and given the clashing personalities and poor management on show, the reader might be forgiven for wondering how Ford managed to make such a success of its sportscar programme. The book is ultimately as much a eulogy to mechanic-turned-racer Ken Miles and a sort of automotive Citizen Kane featuring Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari as it is a history of the on-and-off track battle between Dearborn and Maranello. It's no worse for that. The author's final assertion that Le Mans became less important after the Ford-Ferrari duel is a little presumptuous, ignoring as it does the mighty and arguably more spectacular battle between Porsche and Ferrari that followed. However, any fan of motorsport ought to enjoy this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Probably still mainly for enthusiasts, 16 July 2011
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Some of the previous reviewers have suggested that this book might reach an audience beyond the simple motor sport enthusiasts. I tend to disagree, and I think that's partly down to the style of writing. I see from the author's biog piece that he also writes for Playboy and that style comes across quite strongly for me. Its just a little too flashy and dramatic in places. Those criticisms aside though, having been an enthusiast of 60s and 70s sports car racing since watching the 1969 Le Mans finish live on TV, I definitely enjoyed this book. There are some good views of the Detroit corporate world and also some insights into background events in motorsport in the 1960s. I'd pick out particularly the description of John Surtees' relationship with Eugenio Dragoni, the infamous Ferrari team manager at that time. It seems that the success that Surtees enjoyed at that time was in spite of rather than because of the "support" that he received.

The best part of the book for me though was the tribute it pays to Ken Miles, the engineer/driver who played a pivotal role in developing the GT40 Mark 2. Ford's desire to create a dead-heat finish, which the race organizers would never have recognized anyway, deprived him of what would have been a justly-deserved victory. It was indeed a tragedy that he lost his life so soon afterwards, continuing to develop the next generation of Ford's Le Mans challenge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History made a page-turner, 16 July 2010
By 
JMC "JMC" (Porto, Portugal) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans (Paperback)
Anybody purchasing this book will be a GT40 and 60's Le Mans fan. But although the outcome of the story is well known, A J Baime tells it from scratch in a way more similar to a Follett or Forsyth novel than a sports book. One keeps turning page after page, wanting to know what will happen next. A fantastic book, with finely written balanced chapters, enough but not excessive details of past history, focusing on that half decade of Cold War between Ford and Ferrari. A must!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thriller from cover to cover, 12 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans (Paperback)
This book is true story written in the style of a fast moving novel. The battle between Ford and Ferrari in mid-1960's sportscar racing has been recounted in other books in much greater detail than here, but this work delivers something that a normal worthy factual tome could not. It is an absolutely enthralling, thrilling page-turner that leaves you craving for more when you reach its last page. As a hardcore race fan, I already knew most of the story, but the book still told me a lot I didn't know. If you have only a casual interest in the sport and its history, this is an ideal book to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good account of the heyday of Le Mans, 31 Dec. 2014
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Some strange terminology such as pavement for track and pilot for driver. First place on the grid seems odd too, we know that as pole position! This is a good account of the heyday of Le Mans, the emergence of the Ferrari brand and the Ford empire. I noticed some chronological errors but this is very readable. You also see the transitions of small scale manufacturers to the manufacturer dominated racing and that is a good parallel of today's motorsport. Recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book you can't put down!, 5 Dec. 2010
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D. Guidone (Northampton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans (Paperback)
A must for any motor racing fan this book grips you from the first page. Choose a side, Ferrari or Ford as the book portrays both as friend or foe, impartial in it's own views but enough to make your blood boil as it documents the lives lost and the ludicrous amounts of money spent chasing the dream of winning the worlds biggest advertising medium for motor sales in the 60's. I loved every page of this book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good reading, 13 April 2011
By 
Christian Wendt (Berlin) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans (Paperback)
Henry Ford IIs assault on Ferrari and European racing during the 1960s, and how it brought forth one of the most incredible racing machines ever, the GT 4. The book is also a lot about Enzo Ferrari, a very interesting man in his own right. Something I was not expecting was the sad story of Ken Miles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful, 9 May 2014
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Unable to put it down. Written, I guess, for the USA market and totally absorbing. I'm no expert on Le Mans history , but know enough to enjoy this thrilling book.
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