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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Like Hell to your bookstore (or just click above)
I found an advanced copy of this at my buddy's place, I don't much like racing, but I forgot my iPod and needed something to look at on the train so I figured, what the Hell.

I couldn't put it down when I got off the subway; it's the best book I've read in years. I think it's billed incorrectly as a story about racing. To me it read as a compelling fight...
Published on June 1, 2009 by Jack

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half a Story
Why in the world does the book bill itself as the battle between Ford and Ferrari, and leave out the final act? It's a good read up through the 1966 season.... then stops. Kind of like the ending of the motion picture "The Birds" where the cast just walks away, leaving you going "Huh?" Without telling the story of the 1967 season, the development of the Ford J-Car and...
Published on August 17, 2012 by Gromit801


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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Like Hell to your bookstore (or just click above), June 1, 2009
I found an advanced copy of this at my buddy's place, I don't much like racing, but I forgot my iPod and needed something to look at on the train so I figured, what the Hell.

I couldn't put it down when I got off the subway; it's the best book I've read in years. I think it's billed incorrectly as a story about racing. To me it read as a compelling fight between two strong and very different characters (Mr. Ford and Mr. Ferrari). Ford represents the young gun in big business while Ferrari is the elder artisan. The two men could have been toothpick saleseman for all I cared. The magic was how AJ Baime cinematically recreated their war. It was the clash of the titans but instead of being fought on a battlefield it unfolded on a racetrack (though I was surprised by the amount of casualties involved).

Anyways whether or not you are a gearhead if you like character driven non-fiction you'll enjoy this. I have never reviewed a book but I figured many non-NASCAR folk might miss out on a good read.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars le magnifique, June 30, 2009
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While watching the 2009 Le Mans race Bob Varsha and the boyz from Speed had A.J. Baime as a guest in the broadcast booth. Before the night was over, I was on Amazon and the book was on its way.

As a fan of road racing and F1, this was a great read, fast paced with a great mix of the personalities and race accounts that it involved. An automotive Who's Who list of amazing proportions. I would recommend it to anyone. Given the state of the auto industry, it is also somewhat timely, with Ford looking to rise from the ashes once again as a company and Ferrari searching for answers to its dismal 2009 F1 campaign.

The reason for only four stars? There's no half stars and I thought it strange that while the research for the book seems extensive, a foot note on page 175 states, "* Andretti's (Mario) third son, Marco, today a top Indy-car competitor, was not yet born.", he still hasn't been. Marco is Mario Andretti's grandson, a fact that could be verified any weekend an IRL race is being run.

This minor inaccuracy should in no way deter anyone from reading this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning look at the Ford/Ferrari rivalry at Le Mans in the 1960s, November 16, 2009
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Here in America, most people think the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 are the 2 biggest auto races out there. To those people I say, "Not so fast." The Grand Prix d'Endurance les 24 Heures du Mans (24 Hours of Le Mans) is the greatest single race in the world as it pushes a car to the absolute limits. It's also a race that as a child, I had a hard time believing that a single race would go on for 24 hours. I thought it was insane, and even now I still think it is to some degree. This book focuses on probably the most interesting period of Le Mans, and the struggle of Ford in trying to win the race outright.

A.J. Baime has written a detailed and engaging history outlining how and why the Ford Motor Company became so driven in trying to ultimately win Le Mans. The need to sell more cars was often achieved through racing victories as seen with the dominance of NASCAR by the Ford Galaxie. Le Mans dominance by Ferrari through the early 1960s also translated into sales of customer cars. There was the belief that if a manufacturer's vehicle won at Le Mans, the company must know how to build cars that can last, as well as having power.

The story that unfolds shifts between the Ferrari side and the Ford side. We get to meet the big names of the automotive world like Henry Ford II, Enzo Ferrari, and Carroll Shelby. Then we get the foundation for why Henry Ford II became so obsessed with winning at Le Mans. It would take 3 tries before his goal was fully realized in 1966. Subsequently the GT40 would dominate Le Mans in 1967, 1968, and 1969 to close out the decade. In between that we are told stories about many of the greatest race drivers that the world has ever seen ranging from men like Bruce McLaren to Phil Hill to Mario Andretti. What makes the story so engaging for the reader is Baime's ability to make the reader truly understand what was going on in the sports car racing world during the 1960s, and it certainly doesn't hurt that we get to know many of the individuals.

When reading this book, it becomes clear why auto racing these days will never match the "golden age" of racing during the 1950s and 1960s. Racing was a glorious thing, and the cars were simply machines meant to go fast. While we could debate the obvious stupidity in retrospect of the lack of car safety, it's the very lack of safety that makes this era so appealing. You had to have somewhat of a death wish to get behind the wheel of a Le Mans race car or a Formula One car. The amount of drivers killed during races is astounding, but what might be more astounding is how accepted it was. Safety was viewed as being unmanly so there were no great pushes towards it. Drivers tended to be surrounded by fuel, and things we take for granted now like seatbelts were an after-thought then. But what is just as amazing is how with the technology of those days, they were able to achieve speeds in excess of 200MPH on the famed Mulsanne Straight. Equally amazing, are driver reactions to the race cars reaching these insane speeds.

With the end of the 1960s, the golden age started to pass, but it would linger on in the early 1970s with the Porsche 917. For those who love reading about the GT40, the Porsche 917 story is one I suggest checking out. For as fast as the GT40's were, the 917 was even faster hitting 246MPH on the Mulsanne Straight. In fact one driver was reported as saying when he had to start braking for the Mulsanne Corner, the 917 was still accelerating.

This book is highly recommended for all racing enthusiasts, and even those with a passing interest in automotive racing or even automotive history, as the story itself is unlike any other out there. The Ford-Ferrari rivalry is one of the greatest stories in automotive history, and this book does that story justice.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overall Complete Story, August 2, 2009
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This is the best overall complete story of the Ferrari-Ford battles of the 1960s that I have read. It does not include much detail on the '67 season and the '68-'69 J.W.E efforts, but it covers the origins and years through '66 wonderfully. Especially good are the portraits of Henry Ford II, Enzo Ferrari, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Ken Miles, and Carroll Shelby. Other characters, like John Wyer and Bruce McLaren are well drawn. Baime also describes the industry environment pretty well. When people ask me to list the best books on this era, I name Levine's "Dust and Glory", Wyer's "The Certain Sound", Horseman's "Racing In The Rain", Evan's "Ken Miles", my book, Friedman's "Ford GT-40", Cahier's "Pit Stops" and now Baime's book. Nice job and worth the read for anyone who loves the sport or enjoys exciting (and true) stories.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book, June 2, 2009
I just loved this book - well written and interesting. It must have been an exciting time when Ford and Ferrari went head to head in the '60s. Read this book if you like to be on the edge of your seat and in the minds of those involved in car racing, or if you just like an adventurous story. I can't wait for more by author AJ Baime!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hold On to your Seat, June 3, 2009
This was a real eye-opener. A compelling cruise of cunning and suave, business and sport. Quite a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, May 24, 2011
This review is from: Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans (Paperback)
A highly readable and very entertaining book. I'm not a racing fan, but I thought the story was interesting, so I got it and I wasn't disappointed.

First of all, Baime is a good writer and the book is easy to read and follow. Second of all, even if you don't like cars, I found the drama interesting and exciting. The book is mainly about Ford vs. Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Baime nicely starts off with the background, then builds up the story. Like the old cliche, "the tension was palpable" as Baime built up the story to the climax. He also reveals a lot of tidbit information about the major players such as Henry Ford II, Enzo Ferrari, famous drivers like Mario Andretti, things that I didn't know about I found fascinating.

In summary, this is not just a car book or a racing book, it's a good book about cars and racing. If you are a Ford, Ferrari, racing fan, this book is definitely for you. If you are not a racing fan but want to try something different, something exciting and well written, try this book. You won't be disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half a Story, August 17, 2012
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Why in the world does the book bill itself as the battle between Ford and Ferrari, and leave out the final act? It's a good read up through the 1966 season.... then stops. Kind of like the ending of the motion picture "The Birds" where the cast just walks away, leaving you going "Huh?" Without telling the story of the 1967 season, the development of the Ford J-Car and Mk.IV, the Ferrari 330 P4, and the Chaparrals, it's half a book.

A better book would be Leo Levine's "Ford: The Dust and the Glory."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go like Hell - A Great Book, August 29, 2010
In the 1960's, the 24 Hours of Le Mans was second in stature only to the Indianapolis 500. With Ferrari prototypes gaining complete dominance over the race starting in 1960, the reputation and image of the Italian marquee soared. Wanting to improve the sports image of his own company, Henry Ford II sought a quick solution by attempting to purchase Ferrari and improve sales of Ford automobiles - "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday." When Ferrari reneged on the deal, Ford was determined to beat Ferrari at his own game and the ultimate test was Le Mans.

In "Go like Hell," A.J. Baime masterfully reveals the behind the scenes 1963-1966 maneuvering of both Ford and Ferrari, including the political climate that Ford had to consider as a result of the auto safety campaign led by Ralph Nader. Personalities abound and Baime allows the reader to understand the motivations behind the principle players in their struggle for supremacy - Henry Ford II, Enzo Ferrari, Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill, John Surtees, and the under-rated but supremely talented Ken Miles. Baime also relates the importance of other characters whose role had a direct bearing on the level of success of both racing teams. For example, it was Ferrari racing director Eugenio Dragoni's desire to have Italian drivers spearhead the Italian team that led to Ferrari's split with Surtees, and Ford executive Leo Beebe's decision to switch the development of the GT40 from Ford Advanced Vehicles in England to Shelby's small race team in California - probably the single most important move that led to the eventual success of Ford in 1966.

I personally could not put this book down and finished it in a day. Baime's fast-paced storytelling leaves the reader wanting more; and this writer hopes Baime writes a "Go like Hell 2" covering the ultimate battle for Le Mans - the 1967 race between Ford, Ferrari, Chaparral, Lola, Porsche, and Mirage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American engineering vs Italian magic; all brilliantly written., July 21, 2009
This is the very insightful and entertaining story of two completely different ways to look at cars, races, the world and life in the 60s.

On one side, the italians led by Enzo Ferrari with his boutique car company; cranking out the most beautiful and powerful racing cars of the 60s.

On the other side, american engineering at its best, led by Henry Ford II on a mission to win at Le Mans armed with amazing determination and vast resources.

The book is some much fun and so interesting on many different levels. It's the human story and sometimes drama of Ferrari, Ford, Shelby, McLaren and many others who shaped the world of car racing. It's the story of Italy and the US in the 60s, a story of culture clash and coming together at once. A story of brilliant cars and incredible drivers.

AJ Baime will keep you reading into the wee hours even if you don't care about cars at all. If you're reading just one book this summer, Go Like Hell should be it.
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Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans
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