Top positive review
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Clear, understandable, concise, sports and investigative journalism in its true form
on 5 March 2014
‘Cycle of Lies’ written by Juliet Macur is a well-made biography of athlete that was first admired, and then despised by the whole world - Lance Armstrong.
The author of the book is Juliet Macur who is a sports reporter for The New York Times covering last ten years various sports stories connected with doping and legal issues. Previously she wrote about some other controversial subjects such as ‘Countdown to Beijing’ that brought a story about China sports world that was pushed hard in order to host the 2008 Summer Olympics and ‘In Two Arenas’ that spoke about Iraq war’s effect on sportsmen.
With ‘Cycle of Lies’ Juliet Macur set for herself the ambitious goal to write a true and interesting story about an athlete whose fate in recent years repeatedly filled newspaper columns, equally for good, as for the bad reasons. And certainly she succeeded because her 500 pages work is something that can be read in one sitting and with full right it can be said that this is a great work of investigative journalism in sports world.
Her book is divided into seven chapters, each of them, in addition to the Prologue and Epilogue, named in a provocative way – Lies of the Family, Lies of the Sport, Lies of the Media, Lies of the Brotherhood, Lies of the American Hero and finally, The Truth.
Right at the beginning of the book author gives clear guidelines from which it can be seen that she knows a lot about Armstrong and people around him - …for nearly a decade, Lance Armstrong and I have had a contentious relationship. Seven years have passed since his agent, Bill Stapleton, first threatened to sue me. Back then, I was just one of the many reporters Armstrong had tried to manipulate, charm or bully. Filing lawsuits against writers who dared challenge his fairy-tale story was his quick-and-easy way of convincing people that writing critically about him wasn’t worth it. Over the years, he came to consider me an enemy, one of the many he and his handlers had to keep an eye on…”
Using such style, directness and the facts Juliet Macur wrote her book, not fearing at all to present to the world a host of lies, and some real truths. The nice add-on on the book end are picture section, notes and selected biography which further indicates the seriousness with which the author approached her writing project.
Whether you liked Armstrong in the period of his greatest popularity, and especially if you didn’t in a time when this sports hero had been taken as an example of everything positive and was almost blasphemy to speak against him, you'll enjoy Juliet Macur’s book.
Clear, understandable, concise, sports and investigative journalism in its true form…