THE FASTEST HUMAN: Charles W. Paddock Autobiography (1932) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B00LBGSVXU
- Publisher : Paddock Family Estate (July 29, 1932)
- Publication date : July 29, 1932
- Language : English
- File size : 5133 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 130 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,266,396 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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All history buffs will enjoy the clear look into California as it was in the early 20th century, when the megopolis was still wide open and Pasadena was still ranch land. The contemporary view of young men faced with World War I is interesting as well--as our grandparents keep trying to tell us, people were different then.
The narrative is at times a bit thick for modern readers used to shorter paragraphs and more scenes with dialogue, but the archaic style and language are worth the extra work.
"The Fastest Human" is Paddock’s own story, originally published in 1932 and reissued here by the Paddock Family Estate after being largely unobtainable for decades. It is an autobiography but written in the third person to disguise the fact that Paddock was writing for money about running—strictly against the draconian rules of amateur athletics back in the day. It is an engaging account of Paddock’s early life and career as an elite sprinter and is filled with entertaining stories both on and off the track, featuring the names of sprint greats like Jackson Scholz, Harold Abrahams, Eric Liddell, Loren Murchison and Chester Bowman. (The quest for the 100- and 200-meter gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympics—Paddock took silver in the 200—is the subject of the film "Chariots of Fire," winner of the Best Picture Oscar in 1981.) It also provides an eye-opening glimpse into how shabbily amateur athletes were treated in the 1920s, effectively held prisoner by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) with its rules against “professionalism.”
Paddock chafed against these strictures throughout his running career. He felt it was profoundly unjust that star amateur athletes should get only a cheap medal while meet promoters and the AAU raked in large sums. And so he made the most of his fame—and got barred from competition on more than one occasion. But he always came back. And when the reporters clustered around, hungry for comments, Paddock could usually be relied on for something highly suggestive. Something like: Another year of this amateur running and I can retire!
I highly recommend "The Fastest Human."