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Today We Die a Little: Emil Zátopek, Olympic Legend to Cold War Hero Paperback – 13 Apr 2017
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"A wonderfully in-depth and often emotionally charged piece of writing" (Athletics Weekly)
"An astonishing achievement... There are few writers as adept at capturing so lyrically the utter and incomprehensible strangeness of distance running... A joy to read" (Literary Review)
"Before Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe, there was Emil Zátopek - a Czechoslovakian soldier turned long-distance runner turned Cold War victim. His four Olympic golds, 18 world records and Communist party career are all laid bare in this definitive account" (Shortlist)
"Reminds us of the pain and the glory behind every victory and the power of sport to bring people together and make history" (Martina Navratilova)
"Sport book of the year… A fascinating tale, showing all sides of Zátopek, injecting humanity and humour into a dramatic life" (Matt Butler i, Book of the Year)
LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The definitive biography of one of the greatest, most extraordinary runners and Olympic heroes of all time.
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Top Customer Reviews
Today We Die A Little is one of two, yes two, biographies to have recently come out about Zatopek. Overkill? Given the man, probably not, but which one to choose?
The reason I picked up this one in particular is that the author Richard Askwith is the author of one of my favourite books - Feet in the Clouds - which is both an ink based portrait of past running greats whose canvas is framed by the Lake District, but also a narrative account of Askwith's attempt to do the extreme endurance 'event' The Bob Graham Round.
The book is a standard biographical 'cradle to grave' account of Zatopek's life starting off with a customary 'make or break' flash-forward moment at some point in the athlete's future before reeling back to the beginning. We learn about Emil initially being a reluctant runner who had to be dragged outdoors to compete before discovering his latent talent. This led to local, national and then international fame.Read more ›
The best accolade: I wasn't a Zatopek fan before I read this book, but I am now!
I love "Feet In The Clouds", Askwith's first book. I have issues with some of the views he expressed in "Running Free". But this... this is another masterpiece.
His admiration for Zátopek is duly spelt out, yet the story is told in an objective manner. And what a story it is...
...doubts rose over Farah because of his association with Salazar. History pushed Zátopek towards far more damaging associations. Which Askwith examines thoroughly, objectively - and, as far as I can tell, successfully.
But that's how the story ends. Before that, Askwith depicts Zátopek's youth, his start as a runner and his dominance over middle-distance running and then the marathon, expertly placing it into the historical context. Because, as with Jesse Owens, here you have a runner (albeit of a very different kind) who dominated his time whose triumphs impacted, and were impacted by, regimes that went beyond training and nutrition ones.
Was reading it the day Mo won the 10,000. Finished it ahead of his 5,000 final. Now to wonder whether he'll soon try stepping up to 42,195 in a more committed manner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Zatopek was inspirational athlete and human being. Askwith tells his story with skill, sincerity and humour. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr
Another brilliantly researched and passionately articulated book by Askwith, on one of histories most remarkable athletes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Moulding
This is an incisive and pulsating account of one of the greatest distance runners there has ever been. It truly inspires and is wonderfully researched.Published 1 month ago by Mr S Garvey
The writer has managed to capture every aspect of Zatopek's life, without being biased, although an admirer. Personal, professional & political life is there. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's an excellent, well-researched and well-written - a fascinating story about a true legend.Published 3 months ago by A. M. Hughes
Very informative read of an incredible and unique athlete. The author has done a great job.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Bought this for my husband and he absolutely couldn't put it down!Published 4 months ago by sue phillips
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