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Book about Major Taylor

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Book about Major Taylor

Old 06-21-22, 08:09 AM
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cocoabeachcrab 
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Book about Major Taylor

looking to get a book about Major Taylor, but i see several different titles on ebay. can anyone recommend a good one that also has illustrations and portrays not only his story but also the excitement of the race?
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Old 06-21-22, 08:29 AM
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I think the book by Andrew Ritchie is the "definitive" history. That said, I haven't read the Kerber or Kranish books - they both get good reviews. Now that I look, the Kranish book can be had for about $7...so I may pick one up and check it out. My Ritchie book is an older printing but has some nice photos and is a good read.
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Old 06-21-22, 09:17 AM
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-----

sadly, Andrew Ritchie passed last year

​​​​​​Cycling Historian Andrew Ritchie


-----

Last edited by juvela; 06-21-22 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 06-21-22, 10:11 AM
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Don't overlook the autobiography by the man himself in his own words: The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World (publication date 1928).
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Old 06-21-22, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Don't overlook the autobiography by the man himself in his own words: The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World (publication date 1928).
He couldn't get anyone to initially publish it, so he self-published and went door-door selling it. I saw a first edition recently in a museum.

On that topic, the Major Taylor Metric was in Indianapolis this past weekend. It is on my bucket list, and this weekend was very appropriate for the holiday. The St. Louis Regulators went there as a group; as fine a gathering of individual cyclists as you'd ever be privileged to meet. Next year seems a certain go, bucket list item.
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Old 06-21-22, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
He couldn't get anyone to initially publish it, so he self-published and went door-door selling it. I saw a first edition recently in a museum.

On that topic, the Major Taylor Metric was in Indianapolis this past weekend. It is on my bucket list, and this weekend was very appropriate for the holiday. The St. Louis Regulators went there as a group; as fine a gathering of individual cyclists as you'd ever be privileged to meet. Next year seems a certain go, bucket list item.
a few copies are available on ebay, but a bit above my price range! ken burns should do a documentary on him.
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Old 06-21-22, 01:11 PM
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I restored one of his bikes back around '88 or so....
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Old 06-21-22, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab View Post
Ken burns should do a documentary on him.
I agree. Better him than ESPN.
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Old 06-21-22, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
I agree. Better him than ESPN.
i think he was much more than an athlete... and his story should be told by someone who is an expert at portraying greatness. good ole ken burns does that pretty well!
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Old 06-22-22, 12:39 AM
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Major Taylor's autobiography is in the public domain now, and is scanned into the Internet Archive:

https://archive.org/details/mdp-3901...65758/mode/2up
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Old 06-22-22, 05:48 AM
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Major Taylor's autobiography was also reprinted in the '70s in paperback with a yellow cover - I had a copy c.1975 or so and wish I knew what became of it.

I always thought he was one of the greatest athletes of any era as well as being a man worth studying and emulating.
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Old 06-22-22, 05:57 AM
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Ritchie's book is good. However, reading about the end of Taylor's life was a sad experience.
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Old 06-22-22, 06:13 AM
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i ordered the kranish book. i need some inspiration!
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Old 06-22-22, 06:55 AM
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Having read most of the biographies of MT, and actually his autobiography,
I would highly recommend Andrew Ritchie's book.

The best portrayal and informative of the bunch.
(Major Taylors autobiography is a must read as well)

I found the Kerber book a bit light on some of the details and the verse not driving the story forward.

I understand that there is a new biography in the works, to be published in 2023 and am looking forward to reading it.

BTW, I recently purchased a signed copy(with a dust jacket) of the autobiography - the single most expensive book
I have ever purchased! A great addition to my library and a treasured piece of history.

I actually exchanged emails with Andrew Ritchie a couple years ago, regarding the number of copies of the
autobiography were printed- since it was self published at a time when MT finances were minimal.

I also met with Terry Kerber( whose family shopped at my bicycle store) in his office a mile or so from my home,
and asked the same of him, among a more general conversation regarding his book.

Neither Andrew or Terry Kerber knew the answer.

Fast forward to last year, and a bit of digging led me to someone who found that the publisher still had a number of boxes in
their possession(which this person snapped up).

The publisher relayed that their records showed that 2000 copies were printed, While it is unknown how many copied MT
actually handled and sold door to door, my signed copy is pretty good proof- a piece of cycling history for sure.




(photos from the sellers listing)

rusty

Last edited by 100bikes; 06-22-22 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 06-22-22, 07:45 AM
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Major Taylor's autobiography was also reprinted in the '70s in paperback...
Reprinted again in 2020; also available for Kindle.

Ken Burns should do a documentary on him.


50 years before Jackie Robinson 'broke the color barrier' & 25 years before Eric Liddle refused to race on Sundays, there was Major Taylor.



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