Pedalare!: A History of Italian Cycling

Pedalare A History of Italian Cycling Cycling was a sport so important in Italy that it marked a generation sparked fears of civil war changed the way Italian was spoken led to legal reform and even prompted the Pope himself to praise

  • Title: Pedalare!: A History of Italian Cycling
  • Author: John Foot
  • ISBN: 9781408822197
  • Page: 300
  • Format: Paperback
  • Cycling was a sport so important in Italy that it marked a generation, sparked fears of civil war, changed the way Italian was spoken, led to legal reform and even prompted the Pope himself to praise a cyclist, by name, from his balcony in St Peter s in Rome It was a sport so popular that it created the geography of Italy in the minds of her citizens, and some have said tCycling was a sport so important in Italy that it marked a generation, sparked fears of civil war, changed the way Italian was spoken, led to legal reform and even prompted the Pope himself to praise a cyclist, by name, from his balcony in St Peter s in Rome It was a sport so popular that it created the geography of Italy in the minds of her citizens, and some have said that it was cycling, not political change, that united Italy.Pedalare Pedalare is the first complete history of Italian cycling to be published in English The book moves chronologically from the first Giro d Italia Italy s equivalent of the Tour de France in 1909 to the present day The tragedies and triumphs of great riders such as Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali appear alongside stories of the support riders, snow bound mountains and the first and only woman to ride the whole Giro.Cycling s relationship with Italian history, politics and culture is always up front, with reference to fascism, the cold war and the effect of two world wars The sport is explored alongside changes in Italian society as a whole, from the poor peasants who took up cycling in the early, pioneering period, to the slick, professional sport of today Scandals and controversy appear throughout the book as constant features of the connection between fans, journalists and cycling.Concluding with an examination of doping, which has helped to destroy what was at one time the most popular sport of all, Pedalare, Pedalare is an engrossing history of a national passion.

    One thought on “Pedalare!: A History of Italian Cycling”

    1. When you write a book about cycling and its history, and then manage to bore an avid cyclist fan and keen history reader surely that means you've done something wrong.What did John Foot intend with this book?. According to his own words Pedalare Pedalare will tell the history of cycling as a history of Italy itself.Foot divided the structure in three main parts: the heroic, golden and doping [sic] age. (As if there was no doping before the 60s, how naive).When he writes about the so-called Heroi [...]

    2. Pedalare! Pedalare! A History of Italian Cycling by John FootI was in bad need of escape. I was stuck into Debt: The first 5000 years– by David Graeber and I was sinking fast. Only 160 pages in and I was lost, utterly, amongst tribeswomen in Madagascar. Fortunately, a friend had given me the above history of Italian cycling by John Foot and in that, with the approach of the Giro D’Italia [the 3 week tour of Italy for the uninitiated] I sought salvation. Italy is a fascinating place, but when [...]

    3. Readable academic treatment of the subject (lots of cross referenced quotations) which seeks to understand the myths around Italian cycling - how they arose, why they were propagated as well as how cycling interacted with Italian politics and identity. Particularly good on Bartali's 1948 win and how it was retold as having averted a political crisis after an assassination attempt on the Catholic Bartoli supporting Communist Party leader that was in fact nearly a left wing revolution that was emb [...]

    4. Well researched if not always interesting or well put together, it traces the ark of technology and consumer capitalism from the beginning of the Giro with its drummed up nationalism, drugs, local heroes and rampant exploitation of the riders as different newspapers from different countries competed to see who could come up with the most brutal race in an effort to sell the the most papers. Followed by rapid, unchecked growth of the race industry to the present day Too Big To Fail system rife wi [...]

    5. I've not actually finished this book, more gave up on it during a long and stressful train journey. As Eric Morecambe once said, it has all the right notes but not necesarily in the right order. A history of Italian cycling is appealing, even more so when it is related to Italian life, history and politics in general. Unfortunately, Foot doesn't manage to provide a smooth journey. Each chapter is fitful, jumping backwards and forwards, covering old information as if it is new and new information [...]

    6. Un buon libro. Nonostante l'estenuante numero di ripetizioni, e l'impressione che i capitoli siano totalmente slegati l'uno dall'altro vista la necessità dell'autore di ripetere incessantemente le stesse cose, il libro è pieno di racconti interessantissimi e di punti di vista condivisibili e non sulla storia del ciclismo nostrano. Certamente non dimenticherò facilmente certi aneddoti sul periodo del ciclismo eroico o su Charly Gaul

    7. Interesting overview of Italy's cycling history. Trys to tie a lot of Italian national history into the characters as wellSlightly spoiled by the rants at the end of the book about red light jumping, drug[1] and helmet wearing. Think this shows the author is much more interested in the linking of cycling and society, rather than an actual cycling fan.

    8. An excellent study of the history of racing in Italy. All the racing greats receive a chapter, and the history of bike racing is woven in with parallels in in the changing history of Italy. As politics, wars, and economics change so does the shape of Italian bike racing. The book is very well researched and the author does a great job at moving the dialog forward.

    9. Il ciclismo sportivo nel suo declino, immerso ed indissolubilmente legato alla cornice storica del nostro Bel Paese, bel libro, sicuramente non approfondito per gli appassionati ma molto più ricco di contestualizzazioni e più oggettivo. Consigliato

    10. Pedalare! Pedalare! is an interesting account of road racing in Italy. The author focuses primarily on the 1930s - 1950s. It would have been better to have more information about minor races and more current riders (besides Marco Pantani).

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