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The Last Protest: Lee Evans in Mexico City Paperback – January 24, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Windsprint Press (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977382109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977382101
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

With his third book, Frank Murphy must be counted with the most perceptive observers of the sport. The literary quality of much writing about track and field is repetitious and cold, but Murphy elevates the competition from the banal to the lyrical....It is Evans, the athletic force, that Murphy captures in The Last Protest. --Cross-Country Journal

This is the story of all-time 400 great Lee Evans and his quest for gold in Mexico City amidst the political and social upheaval of the late '60s. Frank Murphy is one of the best sociohistorians of our sport and his telling of the Lee Evans tale brings the era and the quest of an indomitable athlete to life once again... A book that will inspire and enlighten you. --Track and Field News

Heroes and villains stride through Murphy's story, but better still, there are people captured in time, making choices without certainty as to their impact, only as to the justness of their cause. The race sequences alone are worth the price of the book. Murphy writes with a novelist's voice, drawing you along with Evans as he runs through the duties he accepts and the distractions he endures. --Courier Times

From the Publisher

As the Olympic year 1968 opened, Lee Evans was the top 400-meter man in the world, and an early favorite for a gold medal in his event.

But that was before the Olympic Project for Human Rights, before the proposed boycott of the games by America's black athletes, before the building pressure settled on Lee Evans and San Jose State University teammmate Tommmie Smith; before Smith won his own gold medal at 200-meters and before Smith and John Carlos struck their clenched, gloved fists into the Mexico City evening air. Lee Evans was favorite before the world fell in on him.

That Evans thereafter won an Olympic gold medal is part of the story; that he set a world record for 400-meters that would endure for two decades is another part of the story.

The entire story is deeper still; it is the man himself, an American hero at high noon.

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Format: Paperback
Circle a track once. Fast as you can. Faster than anyone. Do that as your country asks'What are you?' 'Who are you with?'

If the 400 meter run is magic, Frank Murphy is a magician of a writer. He tells the story of Lee Evans, a quarter miler running for the U.S. at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. The Olympics where raised fists caused fits. Heroes and villians stride through Murphy's story, but better still, there are people captured in time, making choices without certainty as to their impact, only as to the justness of their cause.

For those who lived in that era, The Last Protest is a fresh look at men America asked to bring home gold medals, display them when asked, but not ask too much for themselves.

For those who only remember seeing a photo of two men, gloved hands clenched above them, the book is a way to understand them by understanding one man that circled that track.

The race sequences alone are worth the price of the book. Murphy writes with a novelist's voice, drawing you along with Evans as he runs through the duties he accepts and the distractions he endures. He places those battles in the context of this era "There was a time when a black man driving from one end of a southern state to the other, Alabama for example or Louisiana, would pack a lunch and carry his drink in a thermos."

This is history writ well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Hocking on December 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Last Protest: Lee Evans in Mexico City is the best running-related book I have ever read. Frank Murphy does a masterful job weaving running, race relations, and olympic politics into a seamless narrative. I recommend this book to anyone interested in running, track and field, civil rights, race relations, or 1960s America. Just a truly fabulous book by a gifted author.
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