While the world suffered the great depression in the thirties, one aspect of society was booming. Track and Field had become hugely popular and milers above all.?This meticulously researched book by New Zealand journalist Lynn McConnell charts the period between the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932 and the infamous Nazi Games of Berlin four years later.?The main characters were New Zealander Jack Lovelock (although he was claimed by Great Britain as well). The son of immigrants Lovelock was born in New Zealand but following his studies at Oxford he returned only once to the land of his birth, preferring to remain in England. The US provided the extrovert Glenn Cunningham, the eccentric Bill Bonthron and the unlucky Gene Venzke. Then there was Italian Luigi Beccal, the 1932 Olympic 1500m champion,two British runners, Jerry Cornes and Sydney Wooderson, and Phil Edwards of Canada. Their rivalry took interest in athletics to new heights in the USA as well as fascinating the rest of the world.?The four years provided exciting racing culminating in one of the great Olympic 1500 metres final won by Lovelock in a world record.

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