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Friday, November 26, 2010

The Indy 500: 1956-1965 by Ben Lawrence, W.C. Madden and Christopher Bass

Excellent, for what it is

The "Images of Sports" series is intended to be a scrapbook history of a team, or in this case of an event.

The Indy 500: 1956-1965 is a 127 page book mostly comprised of photographs taken by Ben Lawrence, a photographer for the now-defunct Indianapolis Times from 1956-1965. This book is not a comprehensive history of the Indy 500, but rather a photographic scrapbook, a yearbook, if you will.

In a way, it was also a Golden Era for the Speedway with the new (also now defunct) scoring tower and the arrival of mainstays such as A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones and the Unsers. There are captions for all pictures and a few introductory paragraphs for each new section.

Not only does the reader get pictures from the race but also from the first 500 Festival parades, shots of the fans, candid shots of the drivers, track workers and even celebrities (the Jayne Mansfield shot is something else!). The race is more than just a race, it is an event, the biggest thing that happens in Indiana all year long and the book gives us an idea what it was like 50 years ago.
I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: The Indy 500: 1956-1965.
Reviewed on July 17, 2009.

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