Go Like Hell (May book club)

To take control of this materialized energy, to draw the reins over this monster with its steel muscles and fiery heart—there is something in the idea which appeals to an almost universal sense, the love of power.” (AJ Baime, Go Like Hell)

It was a book club first.

A Zoom call with our book’s author!

And, it will go down in the books as one of our most amazing experiences as a book club. As one of our book club members described it, “It was like getting a backstage pass!”

AJ Baime, author, journalist and public speaker, graciously agreed to Zoom with us for our May book club.

Mr. Baime is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal and is best known for his books The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World (2017), Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans (2009) and The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War (2014). His most recent book, Dewey Defeats Truman, will be released this July.

In addition to all of this, Mr Baime is an incredible human being. He was kind, interesting, humorous, and an overall wonderful conversationalist. We so enjoyed getting to know him, hearing about his writing process, learning more about Go Like Hell (and ALL the research involved in writing it), and having him answer our many questions.

Earlier this spring, a number of the boys asked if we could read a book about cars. The popularity of the film Ford Vs Ferrari pointed us to Baime’s book and that’s how it ended up on our book list.

In many ways, the story, set in the 1960s, feels more like a thriller than a nonfiction book. The chapters alternate between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari and tell their history and desires for dominance in the racing and car worlds. Unlike in the film (Ford vs Ferrari), Baime doesn’t pit Ford against Ferrari. Instead, he gives his readers rich descriptions of these talented and flawed men, as company leaders and human beings.

I love this description of Ferrari:

Three years after launching his company, Enzo Ferrari was poised to dominate racing in Europe. His first Grand Prix championships came back to back in 1952 and 1953. Another Le Mans victory came in 1954. Years later Ferrari was asked: Which of his cars was his favorite? He answered, “The car which I have not yet created.” And which of his victories meant the most? “The one which I have not yet achieved.

In our Zoom conversation with Mr Baime, we loved hearing about all the places he visited and the famous people he interviewed in order to do his research for the book. And, we were inspired by the perseverance needed in order to do the research, writing, and rewriting.

AJ, in this little corner of the world, you have fans for life! We’re looking forward to reading your new book.

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