Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough, but repetitive and badly edited, 11 Dec 2011
This review is from: Raleigh: Past and Presence of an Iconic Bicycle Brand (Hardcover)
Extremely detailed and well-researched, this book spans Raleigh's full history from 1886 to 2010. It attempts to cover not only Raleigh's factories, products, and corporate history but also includes some personal accounts from employees, details about working conditions and staff welfare, sections on special products, and plenty of photographs (albeit mostly fairly small black-and-white ones).

However, this high level of detail is arguably the book's downfall. In being so thorough it becomes somewhat repetitive, e.g. with the chapter on "Raleigh Overseas 1960-1987" sharing some of the exact same content as the chapter on "Marketing, Sales and Financial Performance 1960-1987", and others with similar overlap. Many paragraphs are barely more than lists of sales figures or the names of ex-directors, sometimes with hardly any further analysis. Perhaps this information could have better been presented as appendices, allowing a little more emphasis on continuity and narrative in the main text. For example, if you know anything about the upheaval surrounding Sturmey Archer's relocation to Taiwan, you will probably be disappointed by the lack of detail and rather bland tone of the chapter covering this topic.

It is also badly edited and proof-read. Small errors are evident in dates and details, especially in the photo captions, and there are inexplicable inconsistencies. For example, on page 271 Raleigh's workforce is claimed to have peaked at 7,000, yet on page 272 the UK workforce was claimed to have been 13,000. On pages 264-265 a whole two-paragraph quote is repeated verbatim by mistake.

A fascinating book to dip into and possibly useful as reference, but repetitive and slightly tedious if read cover-to-cover.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Dec 2011 08:31:44 GMT
E.P. Cyclic says:
"Marketing, Sales and Financial Performance 1960-1987" and "Raleigh Overseas 1960-1987" are two separate subjects. The workforce figure given on page 271 clearly refers to the Nottingham site only, whereas the figure on 272 clearly states that it refers to the UK workforce. Furthermore, the author provides a dedicated email address for queries about information sources. How many others do that?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2012 22:04:16 GMT
J. Voelcker says:
Thanks for the feedback. I perhaps didn't express it clearly, but my point was that there is overlap between the text of these two chapters, given that they are (as you say) two separate subjects. I've updated my review to make it clearer now.
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