An American Legend

Book - 2002
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Laura Hillenbrand, author of the runaway phenomenon Unbroken, brilliantly re-creates a universal underdog story in this #1 New York Times bestseller.

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit's fortunes:

Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Pub., 2002, c2001
Edition: 1st trade pbk. ed. --
ISBN: 9780449005613
Branch Call Number: 798.400929 HIL


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Jun 27, 2017

This book chronicles the amazing story of Seabiscuit. Filled with immeasurable details and anecdotes, the book relays the triumphs and hardships of horse racing in the early 20th century. Although written as non-fiction the book reads as a complete story. Its gripping details make the reader feel as if you are reliving the moments in Seabiscuit's career. The thoughts and emotions of the characters are vividly brought to life. I am not a horse racing enthusiast but found this book wonderful and captivating.

Jun 14, 2016

I've no interest in horse racing, or other sports. But I just read, and loved, "The Boys in the Boat," about the US crew that won the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I knew of this book, and how much others liked it. It was a great book, with multiple heroes--the horse, his owner, trainer, and jockey. Putting the long journey for Seabiscuit to prove he could REALLY run into the context of the Depression improved it. This book could have benefitted from tighter editing. "The Boys in the Boat" had a more spiritual outlook than this one. Horse racing seemed focused on the winning of big prizes in a way that the crew racing world was not. A great story, but not as superb as the story of the 1936 Olympics.

Jun 13, 2016

I really enjoyed Seabiscuit. The story is fascinating and well written with thoughtful parallels between what was occurring on and off the track at this time. At moments I found myself tearing up or a race that was ran almost 80 years ago and people that died 30 years ago. How can you not love an underdog story?
I have tried to read Unbroken several time, but the story is not as compelling as this one about a little brown horse.

Jan 23, 2016

Seabiscuit: an American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand is a remarkably well researched and well told story of one of the past century's great sporting legends. To quote Hillenbrand herself. "...these men and this horse are remembered again."

Dec 31, 2014

Best book about horse racing!!!

sharonb122 Jun 26, 2014

Great book! I thought that reading race details over and over would b boring, but not at all. Stories of the people's lives were amazing. Woven through was history of the 1930s, descriptions of the jockeys jobs and the story of the phenomena that was Seabiscuit. Wish she could have included a glossary of racing terms, but really glad reading program at our library suggested reading a non fiction book about animals. It had lots of pathos, as well.

Feb 15, 2014

excellent description of the period. A memorable passage is the description of these tremendously athletic beasts during a race.

Agent13 Jun 13, 2012

With racing season upon us, I read this book; a story of overcoming big odds (of the four legged variety). Us "two leggers" can benefit. I think, though, that the author overstates the case that Seabiscuit's plight was deeply felt by America and what we were going through (the Depression) at the time. The highlight of the book is a contest between Seabiscuit and Man O' War, the "Babe Ruth" of horses.

Apr 29, 2012

One way to spend a few hours on a gorgeous spring day -- Seabiscuit - the book (ya might recall the 2003 flick) on le patio at the Sugarbowl. Couldn't put this book down. It's the story of a motley crew - an attention loving owner, horse whispering trainer, Shakespeare quoting jockey (who was from Edmonton) and horse with "heart as big as all outdoors". The twists and turns of their story captured the hearts and imagination of America from 1936-40. Found me heart pounding a few times...and no, there was no beer involved (this time anyway) Enjoy!

carolynv Apr 04, 2012

I wasn't the least bit interested in horse racing but I had seen the movie on which the book was based and thought I would check it out. An amazing story, wonderfully written! I found myself trying not to skip ahead to find out what happens. My heart was literally pounding in parts!

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May 11, 2014

sach1212 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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