June 21, 2012 (Toronto, ON) -La Bicicletta and Double Day Canada proud to announce the national book launch for ‘Road to Valor’, with both authors present, on Tuesday June 26th, from 6-8pm. Road to Valor is the inspiring, against-the-odds story of Gino Bartali, the cyclist who made the greatest comeback in Tour de France history and secretly aided the Italian resistance during World War II. Our evening with the authors will include a meet-and-greet, an interview, and a book signing. 100 copies of Road To Valor will be available for purchase at the event.
Gino Bartali was a chain-smoking, Chianti-loving, Tuscan cyclist who won the Tour de France in 1938 and 1948, and set the Tour record, unbroken to this day, for the longest time span between victories. Not known until now, during World War II Bartali secretly helped Jews being persecuted by the Nazis by smuggling false-identity documents, hidden in the frame of his bicycle, past military checkpoints and by sheltering a Jewish family in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings. Andres and Aili McConnon, authors of Road to Valor, the first book in English about Bartali and the first book to fully investigate Bartali’s humanitarian efforts during the war, explore his life and legacy as one of the most important athletes of the 20th century.
About the authors:
Aili McConnon is a Canadian journalist based in New York. She has written for BusinessWeek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian. She has appeared on ABC, MSNBC, and CNN, and has earned degrees from Princeton University, the University of Cambridge, and Columbia University. Andres McConnon graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where he majored in history. He previously worked as a historical researcher for several books.
Praise for the book:
“‘Thou shall not stand idly by’ is a powerful Biblical command. In Aili and Andres McConnon’s book it offers a moving example of moral courage. A simple citizen and great athlete chose to oppose a cruel and racist political dictatorship by saving Jewish victims in Italy. Was it so hard to become a hero then? It was enough–enough to remain human. And yet.” – Elie Wiesel
“The two Tours de France won by Bartali are more than mere entries in the record book of winners. The fact that they were won many years apart proves what an exceptional champion he really was. Above all, the war years separating these victories now reveal Gino to have been a true hero.” – Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France
“Road to Valor is the rigorously researched account of a true champion and role model, Gino Bartali, who became stronger when faced with extreme adversity. His bicycle became the tool with which he saved countless lives during WWII and inspired a broken nation. It is a profoundly uplifting story.” – Michael Barry, Professional cyclist and New York Times contributor
RSVP not required, but appreciated (so we know how much food/drink to prepare!). Everyone is welcome.
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, from 6-8pm
Location: La Bicicletta, 1180 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto, M6B1G1 (click here for a map).
RSVP not required, but appreciated (so we have enough food/drink!).
Sponsored by Café Domestique.