Laura Hillenbrand tells this story of a late-blooming racehorse who won an astounding number of races and hearts in the Depression-ravaged 1930s. But it's her detailed account of the idiosyncrasies of Seabiscuit's owner, Charles Howard, and trainer, Tom Smith, which makes this book a winner for PR pros.Howard raced his colt from coast to coast, but his dramatic flair, and clever, easy rapport with the media offers a model many would do well to follow. To offer the perfect balance, Smith's meticulously clandestine training methods lent his horse an air of intrigue the media couldn't resist, raising the Biscuit's profile even more. Even the book's cover proved a PR coup. In an effort to appeal to those with no interest in horse racing, Ballantine put the focus on Howard, Smith, and Red Pollard, Seabiscuit's jockey, by not showing the horse's head. And while this story of the equine sensation may not turn you into a better PR pro, this inspiring tale will surely make you a very entertained one.
Title Seabiscuit: An American Legend Author Laura Hillenbrand Publisher Ballantine Books, New York, 2001, 399 pages Reviewed by Gideon Fidelzeid