Inside the News with Peter Mansbridge

Last Updated: Aug 8, 2013 11:16 AM ET

A history of Ben Johnson's infamous Olympic race.


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Former Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

A few choice reads this week:

1.) The Dirtiest Race in History by Richard Moore

You might not think it would take a 300 page book to dissect a race that was over in 9.79 seconds. But it's worth it. The race, of course, is the 100 metre final at the 1988 Olympics. Canadian ecstasy when Ben Johnson won, followed by the agony of his disqualification for taking drugs. We know a lot about all that already, but the book is superb in describing the hatred that built before the race  between Johnson and American Carl Lewis. And it points out that of the eight sprinters in that race, only two have never been tainted by drugs.

2.) Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee by Jeff Himmelman

An extraordinary portrayal of a titan of American newspaper journalism. It's told mostly through Bradlee's personal letters and memos, offering real insight into the mind of a man who believed he was doing God's work. You'll never forget the note he wrote to a complaining reader. It began, "Dear A**hole."

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