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The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the 1988 Olympic 100m Final (Wisden Sports Writing) by [Moore, Richard]
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The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the 1988 Olympic 100m Final (Wisden Sports Writing) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"It is always a sign of a good book that you pick it up and never want to put it down. The kind which you rattle through forty pages or so without realising, due to the brilliant writing and readability of the material. Richard Moore has managed to write a book so well thought out, so painstakingly researched, that you cannot fail to appreciate just how good it is. A book which covers every aspect of the Johnson-Lewis story in such minute details, that it should be the first port of call for anyone who wants to learn anything about the subject...I could only ever dream of writing a book along the lines ofThe Dirtiest Race in History. But as a sports nut, and for someone fascinated in the Johnson-Lewis rivalry, you have to be thankful that Richard Moore has produced such a high quality book on one of the biggest sporting events of the 1980s." - "That1980sSportsBlog"

It is always a sign of a good book that you pick it up and never want to put it down. The kind which you rattle through forty pages or so without realising, due to the brilliant writing and readability of the material. Richard Moore has managed to write a book so well thought out, so painstakingly researched, that you cannot fail to appreciate just how good it is. A book which covers every aspect of the Johnson-Lewis story in such minute details, that it should be the first port of call for anyone who wants to learn anything about the subject I could only ever dream of writing a book along the lines ofThe Dirtiest Race in History. But as a sports nut, and for someone fascinated in the Johnson-Lewis rivalry, you have to be thankful that Richard Moore has produced such a high quality book on one of the biggest sporting events of the 1980s. "That1980sSportsBlog""

About the Author

Richard Moore is an award-winning sports journalist with several books to his name including In Search of Robert Millar and Heroes, Villains and Velodromes.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1192 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wisden; 1 edition (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089VOCEW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,464 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ever since my January 2012 pre-order for this book, I have found myself counting down the days to finally read about the sporting moment that transfixed me as a young lad. I have read many sports biographies over the years and never anticipated one as much as this. Over 20 years on, the 1988 Olympics men's 100m final and the aftermath are as resonant as ever, so it was high time that someone wrote a decent account of both the race itself, and the ramifications of Johnson's disqualification and rescinded medal.

In terms of the research and the writing of the book - in concurrence with the first reviewer - the author cannot be faulted. Richard Moore exhaustively, yet enjoyably, leaves no stone unturned in setting the scene for the most maligned sprint meet of all time. With total accuracy, he builds the picture of athletics during the Eighties - which includes the significance of the emerging 'arms race' between drug users in athletics and anti-doping agencies - as well as the differing paths both main protagonists (Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson) followed from school to Seoul. Moore meets everyone of relevance to the 100m final - managers, coaches, colleagues, drug-testers, other competing athletes and of course, Lewis and Johnson themselves.

Those who follow athletics will realise that Moore has written about two men who are intriguing in many ways; notably within their achievements, their personal lives, and their reception to worldwide (and native) audiences. Even today, it is fascinating how Lewis and Johnson polarise opinion, and just how many Lewis detractors and Johnson fans exist - and this does not go unnoticed by Moore.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a book I’d been itching to get my hands on ever since I first heard about it. A seminal sporting moment from my youth, both in terms of the original race and the downfall of Ben Johnson, delved into in great depth was something too good to resist.

Of course I thought I knew a lot about this already. I all knew about Johnson, and it had become quite well known that the majority involved in that race had had their reputations tarnished by drugs at some point. I also knew that Carl Lewis, oh holier than thou Carl Lewis, had failed a drugs test at the US Olympic trials in 1988. I also knew that drug taking, by which I mean steroid and testosterone use in particular, in Athletics was fairly widespread at that time. The Soviets and East Germans we all know about. Likewise Ben Johnson. Florence Griffith-Joyner, Flo-Jo, a decent sprinter one year turned husky voiced muscle popping sensation the next, seemed beyond parody and top of anyone’s suspicion list, despite no doping evidence ever being found.<!--more-->

But the revelation of this book is just how deep the problems went. The USA, that bastion of Cold War righteousness, seems to have been every bit as big a player in drugs in sport as their eastern adversaries. And what is more, the extent of the cover-ups makes you weep for your lost innocence. As a child I marvelled at the feats of Lewis, Johnson, Flo-Jo et al. I also recall the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and it saddened me to read of the covered up positive drugs tests involving medallists that year too. Sadly we’ll never know who those athletes were. Should I be surprised? I suppose not, given the era, and yet it still made me sad to read it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Aside from one's views regarding Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis, this race was a turning point for the Olympics. Ben Johnson was not the first nor the last Olympian to run on PED's. Carl Lewis was running a race he should have never been allowed to run after testing positive at the US Olympic trials. As a Canadian I am personally ashamed not of the investigation into PED's that took place at the Dubin Inquiry, but am entirely ashamed of the way that Mr. Johnson was publicly lynched.
This book, while sometimes delving into questionable territory exploiting the stereotypes at the time (Ben Johnson - poor immigrant, arrogant winner and typical evolution of a steroid program) and Carl Lewis (arrogant middle class athlete blessed with natural skills), gives an account into the atmosphere at the time. The power of the US Olympic Committee, the method of testing, where a perfect stranger had access to Ben Johnson post-race (whether or not he "spiked the beer" is irrelevant - his mere presence and the lack of security was outrageous, his association to Mr. Lewis even more so) are all dealt with rather well.
All 100m races since have been put into question (correctly). All sub - 10 second times are questionable, and the fact that one man was sacrificed to save the face of the Olympics cost the very Olympics in the long run. Six were associated with PED's, one was sacrificed.
An interesting book, a fantastic read and a thoughtful look back at a race that made the world pause for 9.79 seconds. Faster races have been run, but none as exciting as Seoul 1988.
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