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4.7 out of 5 stars78
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 September 2013
Just finished the Dirtiest Race in History, in spite of the fact that most of the facts are already in the public domain this book grips and takes you inside the minds of the main protagonists.People like Calvin Smith have the spotlight shone on them and it was fascinating to learn about Joe Douglas, the shadowy mentor to Carl Lewis, who seemed to exert great and sometimes undue influence in his career.Carl Lewis comes across as a selfish and evasive figure whilst the writer evokes a degree of sympathy when it comes to the sad figure of Ben Johnson. As Calvin Smith says of himself, he should have won the gold medal, with the exception of Robson Da Silva, the rest of the field had failed drug tests of one type or another.Highly recommended and you don't need to know anything about athletics to enjoy this book as its really all about the personalities involved.
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on 31 October 2013
Very well written book about one of the greatest moments in Olympic history. As a 12 year-old I wondered how Johnson had managed to run so fast and why his eyes looked yellow, days later the truth came out. Drug use was so common place in athletics that it needed this high profile moment to raise the profile to breaking point in the media, cheats should never prosper...
However in Johnson's case its not totally black and white and only 2 of the 100m 88 field were never caught taking drugs in their careers at some..level and point. Really enjoyed this book.
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on 23 April 2013
Excellent book. Really eye opening account of the notorious 1988 race. Also a great insight into the politics of the sport and pyschology of the competitors.
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on 27 September 2014
A superb book from start to finish. I couldn't put it down. I wondered if the BBC documentary about the same subject from a couple of years ago would have told most of the story already, but once I started reading this I didn't get that feeling at all. It's brilliant, and even if you think you know all there is to know about that 1988 100m final and all that came before (and after) it - you need to read this. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would!
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on 29 March 2013
The story of how two men approached winning at all costs and how their coaches influenced this thought process. Two men who will always be remembered for one race and how in some cases it changed peoples perceptions to supreme athletic performance. A really good Read from a personal point of view I tend to sympathize with Johnson somewhat as he was to my mind given the substances not just to win but to earn other people lots of money.
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on 30 July 2013
An enjoyable if not entirely revealing book. I would recommend it as a holiday read, particularly for those who know little about the race at the time. If you were watching (as I was as a teenager at 5am GMT), you know this sorry tale in detail.

A fair review if events which only points out that athletes are still at today. Look at Powell and Gay in recent weeks. As Carl Lewis states "time will tell".
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on 18 January 2015
A great read! You sympathise greatly with Johnson throughout the book and my childhood image of Carl Lewis as the good guy was totally ripped to shreds! Fascinating book if you are old enough to remember the times. Very interesting that the American public and press never took to Lewis as I certainly remember the British press (and me as a young athlete at the time) fawning all over him! Buy!
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on 4 March 2016
A very detailed investigation into the greatest scandal in Olympic history. No one emerges with much credit, particularly Frederick Carlton Lewis with his prissy holier-than-thou attitude, and strange reluctance to speak on the record. The role of Andre Jackson, who may have doctored one of Johnson's drinks in the doping control room in Seoul, is still to be fully explained.
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on 5 February 2013
Very informative and well wrote. Thought there may have been more from the other athletes in the famous race. Ben Johnson does come across better than Carl Lewis, and maybe was the scape goat in the wider drugs in sport. Seems he has been unfairly disgraced, especially considering other people who have failed drugs tests since.
Well worth the read
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on 17 September 2012
Bought the kindle version of this based on a recommendation. Thoroughly enjoyed the book from beginning to end. Well researched, well organised and spiced with humour and anecdotes from the main players. Without giving too much away, this book will probably challenge your opinion of the Olympics and indeed Ben Johnson. Highly recommended.
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