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The Tour de France [electronic resource]: A Cultural History
Thompson, Christopher S. Author
edition
2nd ed.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press April 2008
description
385 p. ill 08.810 x 06.280 in.
ISBN
0520256301 (Trade Paper), 9780520256309
format(s)
Book
Subjects
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press April 2008
isbn
0520256301 (Trade Paper)
9780520256309
standard identifier
9780520256309
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
abstract
Annotation In this highly original history of the world's most famous bicycle race, Christopher S. Thompson, mining previously neglected sources and writing with infectious enthusiasm for his subject, tells the compelling story of the Tour de France from its creation in 1903 to the present. Weaving the words of racers, politicians, Tour organizers, and a host of other commentators together with a wide-ranging analysis of the culture surrounding the event--including posters, songs, novels, films, and media coverage--Thompson links the history of the Tour to key moments and themes in French history. Examining the enduring popularity of Tour racers, Thompson explores how their public images have changed over the past century. A new preface explores the long-standing problem of doping in light of recent scandals.
catalogue key
8414991
target audience
Trade University of California Press
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Christopher S. Thompson is Associate Professor of History at Ball State University
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Shows that sport has been for us moderns the ultimate "tabula rasa" into which we pour our hopes, fears, prejudices and self-interest."--Robert A. Nye, author of "Crime, Madness, & Politics in Modern France" and "Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France" "Chris Thompson has written an engaging, nicely-paced account of France's world-famous cycle race: his writing is lively and full of detail and excitement. But he has done much more than simply narrate the story of the Tour. His book sets the race--its history, its participants and its meaning--firmly in its shifting national and cultural contexts. The sections dealing with professional cycling as a form of labor and with the Tour's place in France's troubled twentieth century are absolutely first-rate: insightful and original. This is the best history of the Tour that we have and are likely to have for many years, a work of scholarship that deserves to find a broad general readership."--Tony Judt, author of "Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945"
Flap Copy
"Shows that sport has been for us moderns the ultimate tabula rasa into which we pour our hopes, fears, prejudices and self-interest."--Robert A. Nye, author of Crime, Madness, & Politics in Modern France and Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France "Chris Thompson has written an engaging, nicely-paced account of France's world-famous cycle race: his writing is lively and full of detail and excitement. But he has done much more than simply narrate the story of the Tour. His book sets the race--its history, its participants and its meaning--firmly in its shifting national and cultural contexts. The sections dealing with professional cycling as a form of labor and with the Tour's place in France's troubled twentieth century are absolutely first-rate: insightful and original. This is the best history of the Tour that we have and are likely to have for many years, a work of scholarship that deserves to find a broad general readership."--Tony Judt, author of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-03-01:
Based on newspaper accounts, interviews, and journal articles, this book is now the most up-to-date academic treatment of the Tour de France. Using sociocultural analysis to connect the race to French political history (mainly focusing on the early tours, 1903-39, the focus of his dissertion), Thompson employs complex French phrases and cultural studies jargon in his effort "to impose historical master narratives" on the race. He includes a strong chapter on doping, an analysis of gender roles, and a discussion of employer-employee relations (racers as artisans or blue-collar workers, the peloton as assembly-line workers/slaves). The focus on the tension between tradition and French nationalism on one side and technological innovation and globalization on the other make this an important addition to the literature on sport. Given the book's thorough documentation and footnotes, this reviewer was puzzled that Thompson does not reference The Tour de France, 1903-2003: A Century of Sporting Structures, Meanings, and Values, ed. by Hugh Dauncey and Geoff Hare (CH, Mar'04, 41-4111), particularly since he was among the contributors. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. D. M. Furst San Jose State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A comprehensive history of France from the race's inception, long before Greg LeMond or Lance Armstrong were born."
"A comprehensive history of France from the race's inception, long before Greg LeMond or Lance Armstrong were born."-- The Bike Blog-Albany Times Union
"There are several books to tell you who first won the yellow jersey or the identity of the youngest post-war winner of the Tour de France, the kind you might receive as a gift. This is sort of book you'd buy for yourself."
"There are several books to tell you who first won the yellow jersey or the identity of the youngest post-war winner of the Tour de France, the kind you might receive as a gift. This is sort of book you'd buy for yourself."-- //Inrng: the Inner Ring
"This book is filled fascinating material. . . . Thompson has made a great deal of sense out of this complicated story."
"This book is filled fascinating material. . . . Thompson has made a great deal of sense out of this complicated story."-- Podium Cafe
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In this highly original history of the world's most famous bicycle race, Christopher S. Thompson, mining previously neglected sources and writing with infectious enthusiasm for his subject, tells the compelling story of the Tour de France from its creation in 1903 to the present. Weaving the words of racers, politicians, Tour organizers, and a host of other commentators together with a wide-ranging analysis of the culture surrounding the event--including posters, songs, novels, films, and media coverage--Thompson links the history of the Tour to key moments and themes in French history. Examining the enduring popularity of Tour racers, Thompson explores how their public images have changed over the past century. A new preface explores the long-standing problem of doping in light of recent scandals.
Table of Contents
Preface to the 2008 Editionp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Introductionp. 1
La Grande Boucle: Cycling, Progress, and Modernityp. 7
Itineraries, Narratives, and Identitiesp. 51
The Geants de la Route: Gender and Heroismp. 95
L'Auto's Ouvriers de la Pedale: Work, Class, and the Tour de France, 1903-1939p. 141
The Forcats de la Route: Exploits, Exploitation, and the Politics of Athletic Excess, 1903-1939p. 180
What Price Heroism? Work, Sport, and Drugs in Postwar Francep. 215
Epiloguep. 256
Racers' Occupationsp. 267
Notesp. 269
Bibliographyp. 345
Indexp. 363
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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