For Gold and Glory
Now in paperback

For Gold and Glory

Charlie Wiggins and the African-American Racing Car Circuit
Todd Gould
Distribution: World
Publication date: 7/16/2007
Format: paper 240 pages, 45 b&w photos
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21962-6
Bookmark and Share
 $14.95  $8.97 

 Add to Wish List 
Buy from Amazon


This book tells the little-known story of a highly celebrated auto-racing event for African Americans, the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes. These races were 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." 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.

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 (IUP, 1998). He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.


"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

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

"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

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Racing for “Gold and Glory”
The Adventurer
The Dawn of a New Opportunity
100% American
The Negro Speed King
Charlie’s Gang
“A Darn Good Move on Us”
A Bad Premonition
Epilogue: These Men of Grease and Grit
Appendix: Gold and Glory Sweepstakes Winners
Related Titles