Black Maestro: The Epic Life of an American Legend

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9780061252280: Black Maestro: The Epic Life of an American Legend

In Black Maestro, Joe Drape meticulously brings to life the drama, adventures, romances, and heartbreaks of an unlikely participant in the greatest historical events of the twentieth century. It is a breathtaking narrative that takes you from pastoral Kentucky to Mob–controlled Chicago, from the horse country of Poland to the chaos of Red Square, and from freewheeling Paris to the hard–luck American South of the Depression. It is also a story that returns Jimmy Winkfield to his rightful place as an original American hero.

In 1919, at the age of thirty–seven, as Bolshevik cannon fire thundered above, the already epic life of Jimmy Winkfield turned into an odyssey. With a ragtag band of Russian nobility and Polish soldiers, the son of a black sharecropper from Chilesburg, Kentucky, was entrusted with saving more than 250 of the most royal but fragile thoroughbreds left in crumbling Csarist Russia. They trekked 1,100 miles from Odessa to Warsaw for nearly three months amid the bloodiest part of the Russian Revolution, surviving gunfire and starvation....

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About the Author:

Joe Drape is a reporter for the New York Times. He has won numerous national awards for news and sports writing, including the Eclipse Award for outstanding achievement in horse racing writing. He is the author of The Race for the Triple Crown. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

New York Times writer Drape (The Race for the Triple Crown) illuminates a little-known figure in the history of American sports: Jimmy Winkfield, the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. Like that of more well-known black performers Paul Robeson and Josephine Baker, Winkfield's successwas a mixed blessing: racism and injustice ultimately force Winkfield to flee his native country for Russia, where he witnesses the revolution and lands in Paris with other Russians. The youngest of 17 children in a Kentucky sharecropping family, Winkfield's passion for horses sets in early, and his slight stature bolsters his desire to be a jockey, "where blacks and whites rubbed shoulders without cross words or a stinging backhand to upset the harmony."Black jockeys such as "the legendary slave jockey Simon ... who helped drive General Andrew Jackson from the racing game" and Isaac Murphy, who was so successful, he built himself a $10,000 house before the turn of the 20th century. While Drape's attempts at novel-esque narrative occasionally read cliché, this well-researched biography of Jimmy Winkfield and the larger chapter of America his life highlights is a valuable and entertaining read. 16 page b&w photo insert.
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. 135mm x 19mm x 203mm. Paperback. In Black Maestro, Joe Drape meticulously brings to life the drama, adventures, romances, and heartbreaks of an unlikely participant in the greatest historical events of the twentieth centu.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 280 pages. 0.263. Bookseller Inventory # 9780061252280

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