- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
My Two Lives: Race Driver to Restaurateur Hardcover – 27 Feb 1984
Special offers and product promotions
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
René Dreyfus was a highly competent racing driver who was active during the late 1920s and 1930s. Rather like another great driver, Tony Brooks, he was essentially a modest man who was very honest in the self-assessment of his abilities. He also comes across as a true gentleman, possessing great charm, discretion and unwavering loyalty.
Dreyfus begins by relating his childhood and early adulthood with a great deal of charm before moving on to his racing career. His career was very successful, as is reflected in the teams he raced for - Bugatti, Maserati and the Alfa Romeo cars prepared by Scuderia Ferrari. As a contemporary of Tazio Nuvolari and Achille Varzi, Dreyfus was well aware of his place in the scheme of things, but his career also coincided with the Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union onslaught. Therefore, as with many drivers of this era, his opportunities for success were severely restricted.
The Second World War terminated René Dreyfus' racing career and set him along a different path, proving to be the catalyst that led ultimately to his second life as a restaurateur in the United States. One of the concerns the reviewer held about this book prior to actually reading it was that, from the war onwards, Dreyfus' account would not hold the same degree of interest for a motor sport enthusiast. Not a bit of it, for it was during the turmoil of the Second World War that Dreyfus' life took on an extraordinary dimension. Stranded in America when Germany invaded France, he was cast adrift from the family he was extremely close to. Dreyfus conveys the turmoil of this period of his life very convincingly whilst always maintaining a curious understatement about the true extent of his emotions - a characteristic of his reticence which is particularly evident when discussing his marriages.
Dreyfus' military service during the war makes for interesting reading while his account of the quest for his family towards the end of the war is absolutely compelling. His life as a restaurateur is related in an entertaining manner as he discusses the struggles and heavy workload that this form of activity entails. Throughout his years as a restaurateur, Dreyfus never lost contact with the motor racing world and he recounts many interesting episodes involving the colourful characters from his racing days who would always drop by his restaurant whenever they happened to be in New York.
The life of René Dreyfus was, indeed, an extraordinary one. As with many people who lived through the disruptive effects of the Second World War, he was at the mercy of whatever fate dealt him, sometimes cruel and painful, but also occasions of unbounded joy. The reader is left with an overwhelming sense that René Dreyfus regarded himself as being extremely fortunate to have been able to forge a successful racing career during the inter-war years, regarded by many as the Golden Age of motor sport, and to have been given the opportunity to achieve further success as a restaurateur, allowing a life of great fulfilment.
The book itself is large format, allowing for numerous black-and-white photographs ranging from rare images of his motoring exploits to more private photos of his family and friends from his years as a restaurateur. This book is now very rare, which is reflected in the price one has to pay for a copy in good condition, but it is well worth the investment and the reader should not hesitate when given the opportunity to acquire a copy of this remarkable book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
His biographer, Beverly Rae Kimes, was one of America's foremost automotive journalist and expertly weaves together the beautiful tapestry of a great racing driver, resturantur,gentleman and Franco American hero. A superb read for anyone interested in this fasinating period of motorsport. An absolute must on the true enthusiast book shelf.
So you and the readers will understand that René and Beverly where friends of mine. I have my personal respects and very good feelings about both, so I have that for 'My Two Lives' what have all that years a place of honour in my libary because it`s a perfect writed book about a very interesting live with lovely stories and pictures. My copy is certain in The Netherlands absolutely unique because I have in this personal gift from the late René not only the signatures from him and Beverly but also from Walter Cronkite for writed the forward.
Please be so friendly to answer my questions, thanks in advance, regards. P.S. Let it be clear: I`m not looking and/or order an used copy of 'My Two Lives'!!