Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Non-Fiction

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Non-Fiction

Article excerpt

Title: American Speed: From Dirt Tracks to Indy to NASCAR Author: Edited by Robert Sullivan Data: Life Books, 128 pages, $19.95

Review by Tom Szaroleta

NASCAR fever is at an all-time high and the editors at Life Magazine, who know a thing or two about trends, have tapped into it with American Speed.

The book has hundreds of pictures, covering auto racing from the first track race (Cranston, R.I., 1896) through 21st century open-wheel and stock car racing. The book has color photos, black-and-white photos, action shots, pictures from Victory Lane and the pits.

Chapters are dedicated to racing movies, the rise of NASCAR, spectacular crashes, Soap Box Derby, the Indianapolis 500 and women behind the wheel. Legendary drivers Barney Oldfield, Junior Johnson and A.J. Foyt each get a chapter, as do "dynasties" like the Pettys, the Unsers, the Earnhardts and the Andrettis. Legendary racer Mario Andretti writes the introduction and NASCAR favorite Jeff Gordon writes the afterword.

But it is the photos that make the book special. More than a century's worth of pictures tell the story of America's infatuation with speed in a way that words never could. Dragster driver Shirley Muldowney gives a sly wink from inside her racing helmet. Red Farmer's car goes airborne after hitting a bump in the 1953 race on the beach at Daytona. Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates a victory on the track where his father was killed a year earlier. Charles Musselman flies 20 feet up in the air as his car tumbles beneath him in a 1957 crash. Junior Johnson's car flips on the sand at Daytona.

If you're a race fan, this book's a winner.

Tom Szaroleta is a Times-Union staff writer.

Title: The Rules for Online Dating: Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace Author: Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider Data: Pocket Books, 192 pages, $12

Review by Mary Ann Grossmann

Those Rules girls are back, telling their true believers how to find Mr. …

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