Major Taylor

Andrew Rotchi, Author, Andrew Richie, Author, Andrew Ritchi, Author Bicycle Books $19.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-933201-14-9
Ritchie (King of the Road, etc.) presents a moving biography of Marshall W. ``Major'' Taylor (1878-1932), a now nearly forgotten bicycle racer who was one of the world's premier athletes. Lionized in Europe and Australia, where he defeated reigning national champions, Taylor was the victim of racism at home in the U.S. He struggled throughout his 16-year racing career to earn a living in the sport. A quiet, deeply religious manhe lost income by refusing to race on Sundayshe was popular with the public but shunned by most of his white counterparts. Taylor's success on the racetrack, we're shown, was as much a tribute to his courage as to his enormous skill. After his athletic career ended his life was a series of personal and business setbacks; he died in a Chicago welfare hospital at age 53. Ritchie's sympathetic portrait should appeal to a broader audience than cycling enthusiastsit is the story of a genuine American hero. Photos not seen by PW. (August)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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