The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It

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There was a time when running the mile in four minutes was believed to be beyond the limits of human foot speed, and in all of sport it was the elusive holy grail. In 1952, after suffering defeat at the Helsinki Olympics, three world-class runners each set out to break this barrier. Roger Bannister was a young English medical student who epitomized the ideal of the amateur — still driven not just by winning but by the nobility of the pursuit. John Landy was the privileged son of a genteel Australian family, who as a boy preferred butterfly collecting to running but who trained relentlessly in an almost spiritual attempt to shape his body to this singular task. Then there was Wes Santee, the swaggering American, a Kansas farm boy and natural athlete who believed he was just plain better than everybody else.

Spanning three continents and defying the odds, their collective quest captivated the world and stole headlines from the Korean War, the atomic race, and such legendary figures as Edmund Hillary, Willie Mays, Native Dancer, and Ben Hogan. In the tradition of Seabiscuit and Chariots of Fire, Neal Bascomb delivers a breathtaking story of unlikely heroes and leaves us with a lasting portrait of the twilight years of the golden age of sport.

About Neal Bascomb

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NEAL BASCOMB is the critically acclaimed author of The Perfect Mile, a New York Times bestseller, Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky, and Red Mutiny: Eleven Fateful Days on the Battleship Potemkin, which won the U.S. Maritime Literature Award in 2007. A former editor and journalist, he has appeared in documentaries on A&E and the History Channel.
Published April 6, 2005 by Mariner Books. 348 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Sports & Outdoors, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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There were gale-force winds and squally showers, and Roger Bannister's attempt to run a mile in under four minutes seemed certain to be called off.

Apr 30 2004 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Mile: Three Athle...

Publishers Weekly

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The attempt by three men in the 1950s to become the first to run the mile in less than four minutes is a classic 20th-century sports story. Bascomb's excellent account captures all of the human

Mar 08 2004 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Mile: Three Athle...

Bookmarks Magazine

however, the author does a credible job of making each race feel like the race, as though today could be the day."

Oct 25 2009 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Mile: Three Athle...

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