For Gold and Glory

For Gold and Glory

Charlie Wiggins and the African-American Racing Car Circuit
Todd Gould
Distribution: World
Publication date: 08/08/2007
Format: Paperback 45 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-21962-6
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Description

The companion book to the PBS television special of the same name, For Gold and Glory retraces the little-known history of the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes. This highly celebrated auto-racing event for African Americans was held in Indiana and throughout the Midwest during the racial turbulence of the 1920s and 1930s, when the Ku Klux Klan cast a shadow over the social and political landscape of the state and region. The story is told through the eyes and emotions of Indianapolis auto mechanic Charlie Wiggins. The greatest African American driver of the era, Wiggins was known as the "Negro Speed King."

In this book, Wiggins’ widow, Roberta, and the drivers, families, and other eyewitnesses to the old "Gold and Glory" races recount vivid stories of his career, such as Charlie’s unexpected run-in with the KKK in Kentucky, his outrageous stunts to help promote the black racing circuit, and his strange relationship with the notorious gunman John Dillinger. Set against the colorful backdrop of gangsters, bootleggers, the birth of jazz, and the early history of auto racing in the United States, For Gold and Glory chronicles the tragedies and triumphs of a dedicated group of individuals who overcame tremendous odds to chase their dreams. Theirs is a uniquely American story.

Author Bio

Todd Gould is the ten-time Emmy Award-winning writer and television producer of For Gold and Glory, the PBS television special on which this book is based. Gould is author of Pioneers of the Hardwood, also published by Indiana University Press.

Reviews

“This book tells the little-known story of the highly celebrated African American auto-racing event, the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes, which took place in 1920s and 1930s Indiana.”

“"Author Todd Gould has a remarkable eye for detail and a good ear for pace and tone. . . . For Gold and Glory is an exciting ride about an American legend, a book that almost turns an ordinary man into a superhero." —Black Issues Book Review "Gould sets Wiggins' achievements in the backdrop of a colorful era of the early development of auto racing, which was also a time of gangsters, bootleggers, and the birth of jazz." —Booklist ". . . sheds light on the rich history of the time." —The Black Collegian ". . . provides new information about a little known African American racing circuit braving what was generally an inhospitable environment." —The Alternate: A Chronicle of 20th Century Motor Racing History For Gold and Glory retraces the little-known history of The Gold and Glory Sweepstakes, a highly celebrated auto racing event for African Americans, held in Indiana and throughout the Midwest during the racial turbulence of the 1920s and '30s, when the Ku Klux Klan cast a dark shadow over the social and political landscape of the state and region. The story is told through the eyes and emotions of Indianapolis auto mechanic Charlie Wiggins, the greatest African-American driver of the era, known in the black press as "The Negro Speed King." Set against a colorful backdrop of gangsters, bootleggers, the birth of jazz, and the early history of autoracing in the United States, For Gold and Glory chronicles the tragedies and triumphs of a dedicated group of individuals who overcame tremendous odds to chase their dreams. Theirs is a uniquely American story.”

“Author Todd Gould has a remarkable eye for detail and a good ear for pace and tone. . . . For Gold and Glory is an exciting ride about an American legend, a book that almost turns an ordinary man into a superhero.”
 — Black Issues Book Review

“Anyone who loves history and sports will thoroughly enjoy this story.”
 — Bookviews

“This book offers much more than its title suggests. Gould describes how African American racing came to life in the 1920s and 1930s—'gold and glory' refers to the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes, a celebrated race for black drivers—but vanished before WW II. . . . The absolute segregation of early Triple A racing and the Indianapolis racing circuit is now difficult to imagine, but even today one finds few African American drivers in Indy cars or in formula racing. This makes Gould's excellent treatment of times long forgotten—or more likely never known—not only an excellent resource but also an excellent reminder of the times and the travails of the black community. . . . Recommended. All readers, all levels.”
 — Choice

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