eBook The Tour de France: A Cultural HistoryAuthor Christopher S. Thompson – Bilb-weil.de

In This Highly Original History Of The World S Most Famous Bicycle Race, Christopher S Thompson, Mining Previously Neglected Sources And Writing With Infectious Enthusiasm For His Subject, Tells The Compelling Story Of The Tour De France From Its Creation In To The Present Weaving The Words Of Racers, Politicians, Tour Organizers, And A Host Of Other Commentators Together With A Wide Ranging Analysis Of The Culture Surrounding The Event Including Posters, Songs, Novels, Films, And Media Coverage Thompson Links The History Of The Tour To Key Moments And Themes In French History Examining The Enduring Popularity Of Tour Racers, Thompson Explores How Their Public Images Have Changed Over The Past Century A New Preface Explores The Long Standing Problem Of Doping In Light Of Recent Scandals This is not a rubber on roads Tour book Christopher Thompson turns the traditional formula on its head in producing a highly researched and unusual history of the race For over a century the Tour has been the glue that often held France together and helped to shape attitudes Racers became Giants of the Road and the race spawned a florid, Homeric style of newspaper reporting that romanticised the suffering of its participants If a touch fey, this notion of hardship has largely endured over the years A free show that went round France every July soon caught the imagination and the public loved it The Tour matured and has seen off articulate critics who challenged its Darwinian nature If anything, this has added to its appeal Political upheaval following defeat in two world wars, collaboration, female emancipation and the impact of drugs have all been milestones in the Tour s history Christopher Thompson confronts these major issues and much Our understanding of the Tour and, indeed, the French, is enriched by this excellent book. I m sure this book is an excellent treatise on the socioeconomic impact of the bicycle and bicycle competion in France since the 1880 s but it is not the book I was hoping for The subject matter seems to be very thoroughly researched and is presented in great detail but it is rather dry and ponderous in the presentation I was hoping for of the legendary human or superhuman tales of endurance and fortitude, but it seems I will have to look elsewhere for that. Are you looking for biographies of well known riders over say the past fifty years Ever wondered how the stages are selected each year Need information on the hardware, where the riders stay overnight, and who provides support to the riders Want to know how the various teams came into existence Wonder where the money comes from, and who pays what, and who earns what If you are don t buy this book More for historians of cultural and social development in France, the author shows at great length VERY great length how the development of the bicycle and the Tour has been a factor in development of modern France and vice versa.There s an awful lot of heavy reading to wade through, however, and most has very little to do with the Tour I quote from Chapter One, Cycling, Progress, and Modernity The late nineteeth century was a time of dramatic change for the French The Second Empire had collapsed abruptly in military defeat at the hands of the Prussian led coalition of German states in the fall of 1870 A republic, France s third, was immediately proclaimed, but as had been the case since the revolution of 1789, republic meant diferent things to different people To the workers of Paris, unable or unwilling to flee the German troops who now laid siege to the capital, the new regime represented an opportunity to implement direct, local and social democracy under the Commune and on and on and on for page after page and chapter after chapter.A brilliant book for those studying French history in recent years, with no shortage of facts crammed in Sadly, few justify the title of The Tour de France Maybe The socio economic and political history of cycling in France would have been better but who interested in long distance bicycle racing would have bought it had they known the contents Not me, for one.Give it a miss if you re interested in the Tour as such.