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100 Years of Harley Davidson Hardcover – October 11, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
With sexy full-page photo spreads and plenty of motorcycle lore, this commemorative volume celebrates the centennial of the legendary motor company. Davidson, vice president of Styling at Harley-Davidson and the grandson of one of the original founders, gives a decade-by-decade account of the company and the rise of biker culture. He describes the tinkerers perfecting the "motorized bicycle" in the basement of the Davidson family home in Milwaukee, Wisc., in 1903; the role of women riders-who were among the bike's earliest enthusiasts-and H.O.G. rallies and socials; and, of course, the postwar decades when rebel types "eager to have too much fun" captured the public imagination and forever changed the image of the motorcycle. The book includes two-page spreads of motorcycles for years during which Harley offered a new design, and Davidson shares his own passion for the machines and his memories of the family business throughout.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This absolutely gorgeous oversize book documents the first century of Harley-Davidson motorcycles--or "motorized bicycles," as they were referred to in earlier days. The author's history of the company has a personal touch, since he is the grandson of one of the four founders. In chapters covering two decades at a time, he chronicles the business side of the company and the mechanical evolution of the product. And what a product it has been--each step in its development is illustrated here with bountiful photographs, many of which came from Davidson's personal collection and company archives. This book is a firm invitation to take to the open road, and all the publicity hype behind its publication, including an initial print run of 250,000 copies, will mean that readership interest will be high. A book to savor. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
But the Harley story is also an American story, one of tales from the road across the USA. The company, celebrating its 100th year, is one of the few motoring ventures that maintains an image of quality vastly superior to Japanese knockoffs, primarily because of its storied history and presentation in culture for the last 100 years.
The story of the Harley Davidson corporate mentality, its financial devastation and recovery, and its appeal to an American society that loves its image takes up a good deal of space in this book, and makes for fascinating reading. In fact, the story alone would be worth a somewhat reduced price of admission (this book is expensive, after all), but the photography makes this a big keeper.
Double page after double page of legendary Harley models, dating back to the 1900's, capture the imagination, and the beauty of design in an incredible light. Photos from across the country call out for road trips. The photos capture much more than the HOG they portray - they are an invitation to hop on for a ride through American history.
This book is an excellent Christmas gift for anyone who owns, or always wanted to own their own Harley.
It also covers most of basic history of the MoCo but does so in a corporate promotional way. The author glosses over the AMF years when the quality of their products were poor. It's a 1 or 2 sentence mention and I think deserved more specifics. This is the only major soft spot in the book in that, at times, it seems like one of their rah rah brochures. Look past that and you'll find a great coffee table book.
One question the book left me with is how much the author is genuinely involved in the design of bikes. He may just wish to support the other people involved (humbly). Otherwise, to read the book it seems his major talent is drawing logos (as it reads). The book wasn't solid on that.
An absolute seller, and when you want to collect some 100th Anniv. books this year: this one may not be missed on your shelve.
Get it now!
- More mechanical facts
- A more thorough coverage of all models (e.g. the 800 sporstster is barely mentioned)
Otherwise, a must-have.
Ride Free, Willie G.!
If you're expecting to see the development of the mystique we've come to associate with The Hog, you will be disappointed for those who make The Hog are not necessarily those with whom it is associated. I don't think I've seen so many squeaky-clean, carefree people up close, sans helmets too!
Actually, a fascinating book & certainly one any lover of motorbikes, the open road & social styles will enjoy.