Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete [NOOK Book]

Overview

Acclaimed novelist Benjamin Cheever--author of The Plagiarist, Famous After Death, and The Good Nanny--brings his buoyant literary style to this impassioned memoir about the sport that changed his life.

From Pheidippides, who rant the first marathon in 490 BC--bringing news to Athens of the Greek victory on the plains of Marathon--to our own soldiers in Iraq today, running is an integral part of human culture and legend. In Strides, heralded author Benjamin Cheever explores the ...

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Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete

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Overview

Acclaimed novelist Benjamin Cheever--author of The Plagiarist, Famous After Death, and The Good Nanny--brings his buoyant literary style to this impassioned memoir about the sport that changed his life.

From Pheidippides, who rant the first marathon in 490 BC--bringing news to Athens of the Greek victory on the plains of Marathon--to our own soldiers in Iraq today, running is an integral part of human culture and legend. In Strides, heralded author Benjamin Cheever explores the role of running in human history while interspersing this account with revelations of his own decades-long devotion to the sport.

Cheever has traveled the world writing features for Runner's World magazine, and he draws from this rich experience on every page. His adventures have taken him to Kenya in search of the secrets of the world's fastest long-distance runners and to a 10-K race with American soldeirs in Baghdad. Cheever celebrates the quotidian personal satisfaction of a morning run and the more exotic pleasures of the Medoc Marathon in Bordeaux, where fine wines are served at water stations and the first prize is the winner's weight in grand crus. He shares vivid moments from the New York Marathon and waxes rhapsodic about the granddaddy of American distance events--the Boston Marathon. But what truly distignuishes Strides as a memorable read is the unique lens through which this sparkling writer explores our deep bond to running, an experience he likens to that of being able to fly.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Cheever (The Plagiarist) makes an erratic dash through his lifetime of marathon running while offering facts about the sport throughout history. Having discovered running in 1977, at age 28, while working at Reader's Digest, and stuck in an unhappy marriage, he became more and more involved in the sport over the next 30 years, losing weight, gaining a new body type and the much-needed confidence he lacked growing up as the son of the famous writer John Cheever. Alternating with his personal memories of marathon running from races in Yonkers;, New York City; Boston; Médoc, France; and Baghdad, Cheever explores some troubling questions, such as whether running is really natural for mankind and even good for your health (hunters and gatherers weren't efficient runners, yet humans prove they possess impressive endurance running). Cheever tracks examples from Homer to the earliest and later Olympics, from races in the Dark Ages to the art of pedestrianism to Kenyan secrets of success. Cheever fills his pages with accounts by runners for whom the sport altered them profoundly. A terrific list of his 26.2 favorite books on running caps Cheever's springy, upbeat pep talk for the runnerati. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher
"Cheever, a former journalist and onetime copy editor at Reader's Digest, melds reportorial skills, literary talent and a wicked sense of humor to capture the irony and indefatigable spirit of running in the 21st century....Beginners will relate to Cheever's inauspicious initial forays into fitness and exercise, and veteran runners can share his enthusiasm for the Kenyans and other leaders of the pack. The result is a joyous and inspirational ode to our transformative sport." -Jim Hage, The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605296203
  • Publisher: Rodale
  • Publication date: 9/18/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 717,390
  • File size: 660 KB

Meet the Author

BENJAMIN CHEEVER has published in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Gourmet, and Runner’s World. He has taught at Bennington College and The New School for Social Research. The author of the highly praised novels The Plagiarist, The Partisan, and Famous After Death, and editor of The Letters of John Cheever, he lives in Pleasantville, New York.

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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
The Fat Man in Green Pajamas     1
First Marathon     5
Running in Prehistory, Long-Distance Intuitions     11
Welcome to the Club     16
Are We Designed for It?     19
Running in Ancient History     24
You Don't Need a Coach     33
My Varsity Football Career on an 11-Man Team: A Short Chapter     41
Running in the Middle Ages     43
All Runners Are Created Equal. Some Runners Are More Equal Than Others     46
Messengers and the Great Age of Pedestrianism     60
Jeremy Morris and the Dawn of a New Age     69
Running Is Transformative-Even for Nonrunners     74
American Running     82
Le Marathon le Plus Long du Monde     92
The Rebirth of the Olympics     103
Let's Keep in Touch     108
The Problem of Kenya: Why Do They Insist on Winning All Our Races?     119
Going to Kenya     130
Not an Army of One, but an Army of Run     147
But Will It Kill Me, Doc?     166
Too Much of a Good Thing     178
Who Are We?     186
The Runner's Agony-I Mean the Runner's High     195
Boston     199
The Finish     210
After the Finish: 26.2 Great Books on Running     223
Notes     235
Acknowledgments     242
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