When journalist Patrick Kennedy and historian Lawrence Kennedy unearthed their uncle's unpublished memoir, they discovered a colorful character who lived a tumultuous life, beyond his multiple marathons. The bricklayer survived typhoid fever, a five-story fall, auto and train accidents, World War action, Depression-era bankruptcy, decades of back-breaking work, and his own tendency to tipple. In many ways, Bill typified the colorful, newly emerging culture and working-class ethic of competitive long-distance running before it became a professionalized sport. Bricklayer Bill takes us back to another time, when bricklayers, plumbers, and printers could take the stage as star athletes.
"The authors capture Boston and the spirit of the race with the story of a marathoner whose career in sports framed the golden era of running."—Michael Connelly, author of 26.2 Miles to Boston: A Journey into the Heart of the Boston Marathon