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The Great Match Race: When North Met South in America's First Sports Spectacle

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4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  47 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The Great Match Race is a captivating account of America's first sports spectacle, a horse race that pitted North against South in three grueling heats. On a bright afternoon in May 1823, an unprecedented sixty thousand people showed up to watch two horses run the equivalent of nine Kentucky Derbys in a few hours' time. Eclipse was the majestic champion representing the No ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 5th 2007 by Mariner Books (first published May 5th 2006)
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Rena Sherwood
Has there been a movie made based on this book? If not, why not? There was a movie made on the 1970s racing filly Ruffian and we all know how THAT one turned out. ("We" being a subjective term, but anyway, on with the review --)

This horse race was the most famous of its day and yet maybe ten people living in the country knew about it before this book was published. It makes a good case that this match race of a Northern champion (American Eclipse) against a Southern rising star (Sir Henry) was t
...more
Margaret
Jan 14, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting story of the horse race between the North's Eclipse and the South's Sir Henry in 1823. This was the first big sporting event of the New Republic. Eisenberg gives the history of horseracing in America and the events leading up to the race. The background of the horse owners, jockeys and others involved in the event adds to the build-up. The best part of the book is the thrilling race itself, three heats of four miles each - quite the endurance test for the horses. I didn't like t ...more
Sumpterhouse
Racy writing, a great yarn, and a telling look at the differences between Ways of Life that led to the Civil War. Setting up a grudge race between the best horses the South could summon and the great unbeaten Eclipse, New York's hero. Each side's story is told warmly and sympathetically and if you don't know your history, it's also a nail biter. Which side will win? Expecting a rather large turnout, all of America saw the biggest crowd it had ever experienced. Great book for all sorts of readers ...more
Ryan Kenealy
Great read for horse racing and history fans. You can peer into the way people thought in the early 19th century.
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Jackie
Oct 15, 2014 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So exciting! I think this should be the next racing movie, it would surely be great.
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John was a columnist at The Baltimore Sun for 23 years, and before that, worked at the dear, departed Dallas Times Herald. He now writes books fulltime. He grew up in Dallas, Texas, and attended the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and their two college-age children.
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