5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Too much Product Placement, not enough Racing!,
This review is from: Winning Is Not Enough: The Autobiography (Hardcover)
Others have said the same, but having just finished this very lengthy book, I also felt unsatisfied. The first third about his childhood and racing career is very good, albeit sometimes lacking real insights that appear in the very best sports biographies (like Graham Thorpe's brutally honest autobiography). After that it seems like Sir Jackie is primarily interested in providing an extended commercial for all those companies, royalty & celebrities he has been involved in for his 60 odd years. Some of this, like his car development work for Ford is genuinely interesting, but much of the rest comes across as rather gratuitous plugging and endless name dropping. An example - he can't just stay at a Hotel, its the Ritz Carlton. Every reference has a capitalized name associated with it, every name has an accompaniment like "brilliant actor", "wonderful businessman", or a lengthy royal title - always given in full every time.
To be honest, Stewart was never one of my favorite drivers and I found his acknowledgment of the late Denis Jenkinson a little sour given that Jenks spent so many column inches dismissing many of Stewart's ideas on safety. Clark was my first hero, then mainly the Lotus drivers that followed him like Ronnie, Mario & Emerson, but I was really interested in Stewart's take on an era where so many of the true greats are no longer around to tell their tales. After the racing period, with the exception of the PSR section, I found it a chore that I felt I had to finish to see if there was some great nugget buried in the text. Having said that, some of the odder chapters came close - especially the one on his dogs, but then I am a dog owner and could empathise.
So, if you want good racing stories, stop reading when he retires. You won't get much detail on what happened to Tyrrell later on for example. But as someone else said, you will learn where to get your suits made, how to handle replies to letters and what great guys Fred the Shred and Thatcher's favorite industrialist Lord King are.