Book reviews, December 2003, December 2003

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Ronnie Peterson: Formula One Super Swede
By Johnny Tipler
ISBN 1 902351 07 X
Published by Coterie Press Ltd, £34.95

If you enjoyed our Ronnie Peterson story last month, then you’ve already started reading this, for it was a precis of the opening chapter. In a way that’s already praise, but reading the whole work confirms the amount of research that Tipler has done. He allows friends and team-mates to talk at length about the man, including flaws, and seems to quote everyone who mattered. Portraying the man first and the racing driver afterward avoids the usual career history trap, and pages from private Peterson albums are a bonus.

Tipler gives much detail about whether Ronnie should have survived the crash, but concludes there was no malpractice. Which may or may not comfort those who miss a great racing character. GC

Safari Rally: 50 Years of the Toughest Rally
By Reinhard Klein, John Davenport and Helmut Deimel
ISBN 3927458082
Published by McKlein, £57.99

Reinhard Klein is known to have an eye as much for the landscape as for his rally car subjects, and if ever an event majored on its scenery, it’s the Safari. Or rather it was, since this cinematic event no longer fits inside a TV screen, and has been sidelined from the WRC.

If you never got there, this luxurious book gives a flavour of the heat, the mud and the eye-watering colours which framed this arduous challenge. Air support was crucial to the Safari, and Klein made good use of it to offer us some stunning aerial views, along with telling details of cars, crews and local life.

With both English and German text, and dotted with roadbooks and programmes, this is a lavish picture of the toughest rally of all. GC

The Powers Brokers: The Battle for F1’s Billions
By Alan Henry
ISBN 0760316503
Published by Motorbooks International, £16.99

Alan Henry has worked close to Bernie for years, and has seen him sailing smoothly on despite all the complaints about excessive control and the staggering costs of Formula One. But, as AH illustrates, the big money goes hand in hand with the intense coverage we now enjoy, and no-one in the paddock is going to give up their private jet anytime soon.

The book offers a clear view of how Bernie made, managed and distributes those billions, and how Max Mosley and the team chiefs fit into the system. The big players talk seemingly frankly, but it’s not Henry’s fault the major questions are left open. Has Bernie played fair? Is the rival F1 series a serious threat? Were the ’83 Brabhams legal? Even an insider like Henry is forced to conclude “we may never know…”

But he does make one definite statement: the British GP will survive. Bernie will never be the man to cancel it… Illuminating but frustrating. GC

Jim Clark: Racing Legend
By Eric Dymock
ISBN 0760317038
Published by Motorbooks International, £24.99/£14.99

Eric Dymock knew Jim Clark from before either of them began their respective careers, and since the former’s profession turned out to be writing about the latter’s chosen field of activity, it’s comes as no surprise that Dymock penned such a fine biography.

This revised edition, now also available in softback, adds a new picture section and includes a moving letter from Dan Gurney, but retains the clean, attractive layout which makes it a pleasure to read. There’s plenty of factual detail, down to the routine at Clark’s old school, but Dymock also tries to draw some conclusions about his behaviour.

Nor is he afraid to be critical: though regarded with great affection by almost everyone he met, Dymock points out that the shy Scot could be unchivalrous, even belligerent. For those who never met Clark, it feels like a very truthful picture. GC

Bentley Specials and Special Bentleys
By Ray Roberts
ISBN 0 9545 398 O X
Published by RayRoberts Booksellers, £100

This must be the first book I have seen which begins on p447, but as ours is just about the only magazine which still numbers pages through the year I should be attuned to that.

This is Vol 2 of Roberts’ work on the non-standard Bentleys, and it not only adds cars modified since the fascinating Vol 1, but throws in scads of marque history, technical facts, race results, marque specialists, estate cars, art, dashboards, personalities, motoring jokes…

In fact it’s too crowded with information, not all relevant, and is confusingly laid out, with dozens of `chapterettes’, hefty picture sections, and pages of tables listing Bentley entries in obscure events.

There’s a ton of interesting stuff in here, but it’s about three books in one. An impressive but overwhelming bit of research. GC

Corvette Thunder: 50 Years of Corvette Racing
By Dave Friedman
ISBN 0-9743986-0-8
Published by Guldstrand, US $75

Most authors keep it secret that they know little or nothing about the subject before they began their book. But historian Dave Friedman cheerfully admits it — “I’m a Ford man” — before offering us this rich and complete picture of Corvette racing.

Like his fine Shelby Daytona book, this is mainly pictorial, showing the ‘Vette mature from underpowered concept car to American hero.

Ignoring the trend for exhaustive results tables, Friedman lets the photos drive the tale, with informative extended captions taking us from crew-cuts and crossplies to slicks and sponsors, right up to Le Mans this year. Maybe it’s my black-and-white tinted spectacles, but for me the most evocative part is 1960-70, with Corvettes hanging off Pikes Peak and smoking across the Bonneville salt. GC

You may also like

Related products