Friday, May 4, 2012

A Brief Review of "Frank Lockhart: American Speed king," by Sarah Morgan-Wu and James O'Keefe

I finally had a look at the Frank Lockhart book authored by Sarah Morgan-Wu and James O'Keefe.  A great resource on Lockhart and auto racing during the 1920s, with a fabulous collection of photographs and related documents. But is it the last word on Lockhart?  Absolutely not.  What is missing in this work is broad context, more specifically placing Lockhart into the culture of sports and American life during the 1920s.  the 1920s was a new age of mass consumption on the part of fans and heroic accounts written in the popular press. That is the work of the next serious biographer.  I kept thinking, how does Lockhart's experience parallel that of Charles Lindbergh, a contemporary who evoked similar comparisons related to American individualism, technological innovation, pioneering traditions of class and education, and more. How would a good read of the sports pages of major and minor newspapers  in this era shed light on the topic? Auto racing has enormous promise as a topic worthy of serious work, despite the mass of materials already in print.

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