The history and popularity of the marathon and the 1908 Olympic Games is wonderfully told in a new book by David Davis, “Showdown at Shepherd’s Bush: The 1908 Olympic Marathon and the Three Runners Who Launched a Sporting Craze.” It gives us a thorough understanding of not only the background of the three runners and their long-distance running exploits, but a look at how the modern Olympics evolved.
Davis deserves credit for examining a popular subject that really has flown below the radar. The marathon has become a cultural phenomenon and it’s fascinating to discover how it became a part of our nation’s fabric.
David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at email@example.com.