Major Long before Tiger Woods, or even boxer Jack Johnson, there was Marshall "Major" Taylor. The African-American cyclist dominated the exclusive sport a century ago, when… Major Long before Tiger Woods, or even boxer Jack Johnson, there was Marshall "Major" Taylor. The African-American cyclist dominated the exclusive sport a century ago, when… 2008-02-26 Biography Nonfiction Crown
Book Review

Major (2008)

EW's GRADE
B-

Details Release Date: Feb 26, 2008; Writer: Todd Balf; Genres: Biography, Nonfiction; Publisher: Crown

Long before Tiger Woods, or even boxer Jack Johnson, there was Marshall ''Major'' Taylor. The African-American cyclist dominated the exclusive sport a century ago, when racers earned eight times more than baseball's top stars. Todd Balf revels in the bicycle's bone-shaking evolution and the top-gun fraternity of daredevils who literally risked life and limb to race. But Major remains a cipher, perhaps due to his self-imposed cocoon against a crudely prejudicial press that called him a ''rubbery little Indiana coon.'' Balf masters the history in Major, but like post–Lance Armstrong cycling, a story without a compelling hero is just spinning its wheels. B–

Originally posted Feb 29, 2008 Published in issue #981 Mar 07, 2008 Order article reprints