Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Review: Lance Armstrong's War

I picked up Lance Armstrong's War from the library on a whim, since it's Tour de France season, and I figured it would be amusing to see how things looked a few years ago.

Written by Daniel Coyle, who was a writer/editor for Outside magazine, this book tries very hard to introduce non-cyclists to the world of the pro peloton. What's interesting in the aftermath of history, of course, is how much this book reads like a fan-boy account of Armstrong. The author moved to Girona, works in his rivals, team-mates, mechanics, and others into the story, and then largely takes Armstrong's side against the accusations of doping. This is American journalism at its worse --- the author even gives up all pretense of independence by submitting drafts of the book to Armstrong and his publicity team

 In retrospect, David Walsh's criticism of Armstrong's connections to doping has been largely vindicated by history. However, as an unintentionally funny read (as well as an indictment of American-style OMG/Engadget journalism), this is a book worth picking up at the library. (The book has also now been bargain-binned by Amazon, for good reason) It's not recommended if you're going to read the book unironically, though!
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