“Journalist Dobkin debuts with a novelistic blow-by-blow account of the first Tour de France run after WWI, shining light on the wartime experiences of its racers, organizers, and observers… [He] vividly describes arduous ascents, rubble-strewn streets, and the crowds that lined the route, waving flags and shouting encouragement. The result is an immersive look at the mythical power of sports to unite and inspire.” –Publishers Weekly
“Astonishing. With beautiful prose, compelling narrative, and meticulous research, Adin Dobkin does far more than just record the history of a race—he conjures an entire world reeling in the aftermath of World War I” –Phil Klay, National Book Award winner and author of Missionaries
“Vivid and inspiring. A century ago, in a brutal race like no other, cyclists faced war-torn roads and their own demons, and Dobkin spins through their tale in a sweet gear, showing the power of sport and the resilience of the heart.” –Jason Fagone, the bestselling author of The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies
“A moving and deeply researched book documenting the Tour de France’s rebirth after the Great War. Dobkin’s prose is lyric and at turns intricate and sweeping. He brilliantly captures Europe’s collective longing to rebuild through a competition whose epic terms and improbable cast of characters speak to the hope and uncertainty that defined a generation devastated by violence. More than a chronicle of sport, this is an incredible story of how the mind and body reckon with the scars of war.” –Jen Percy, author of Demon Camp: The Strange and Terrible Saga of a Soldier’s Return from War
“Beautifully written, compellingly told, Adin Dobkin weaves together a masterful narrative of war, returning to the resiliency of the human spirit.” –Elliot Ackerman, National Book Award finalist and coauthor of 2034
Sprinting Through No Man’s Land follows the participants of the 1919 Tour de France, the second longest Tour in history and arguably its most grueling iteration, taking place just months after the end of World War I. The book, to be published by Little A, traces the race of a lifetime and looks at how regular, but extraordinary people rebuild after catastrophic wars. You can preorder Sprinting at IndieBound, Bookshop, Amazon, Books-A-Million, or your local bookstore and add it on Goodreads here.
I’m launching Sprinting on July 1st with Phil Klay at Powerhouse Arena. You can RSVP for the virtual event here.
On July 11th, I’m speaking with Paul Fournel at Albertine Books about this year’s Tour de France and the place of cycling within our societies.
On July 21st, I’m taking part in the Bryant Park reading series in New York.