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Comments by Ann Self on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 01:25 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Finished the book last night and loved it. Both my sisters will be getting it for Xmas and I'm e-mailing my friend Patty down in Texas about it as soon as I finish talking to you. (She spent her first 5 years of life Whinnying instead of talking. In spite of her poor mother's attempt to get her counseling, she is still a horse nut.)I had heard of your book through BOMC, and thought it sounded interesting, but didn't buy it. But it lurked in the back of my mind, as some books do, whispering that I was missing something. (Maybe I need Patty's dr.!) I saw it sitting on the new book shelf at the library and pounced on it! As I was reading it, My husband would laugh at me making little exclamations and saying "C'mon, c'mon" under my breath during the race scenes. I call them scenes because your writing made me see what was happening in my mind. I hope you will have control over the movie, so Hollywood won't have the chance to ruin another great story. I also enjoyed reading your notes at the end of the book. They solved a little mystery for me. There is a jug band around these parts called the Juggernaught Jug Band. They play jug music from the 20's and 30's. Excellent band. Anyway, one of the member's of the band goes by the name Roscoe Goose. I always wondered where that name came from. Now I know it was the name of the 1913 winning Kentucky Derby jockey! I can't wait to dazzle Roscoe with my new found knowledge! Thank you so much for a wonderful book. It will stay with me for a long time and find a place in my permanent collection. My long-suffering hubby groans when he hears this. At this rate we're gonna need a bigger house! Keep writing and I'll keep reading!
corydon, Ind. USA

Comments by Karol Andrews on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 07:40 IP Logged
Laura: I have just finished reading your book, "Seabiscuit, An American Legend." Thank you so much for writing it and bringing Seabiscuit and all those associated with him alive for me. I have tears streaming down my face as I write this. I'm at a loss to explain why it has affected me so. I enjoy thoroughbred racing at Del Mar where my son is a professional handicapper -- "Deuce Bruce." But other than admiring the horses and betting on them, I was ignorant of their personalities, spirits, and hearts until your book. I can't thank you enough for all your efforts in researching and writing such an inspiring masterpiece. Karol Andrews
San Diego, CA USA

Comments by Mrs. Barbara A. Eddy on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 04:33 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, We loved your book; thank you for sharing Seabiscuit’s story with us. My husband and I read it together, and now I am going through it again for a second time. We now have a much greater appreciation for the sport and history of thoroughbred racing, and a very special place in our hearts for Seabiscuit. We should like to have copies of several of the prints from your book to hang in our home library. Could you possibly provide me with a contact name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address or any other suggestion as to how I might obtain each of the seven prints noted below? We are, of course, willing to purchase each print, and they will be used solely for our own personal enjoyment in our home, and not duplicated in any manner. Thank you again for your beautiful book. Sincerely, Barbara A. Eddy Three Island Lake HC01, Box 3178-D Manistique, Michigan 49854 beddy@up,net Phone 909-573-2699 PRINTS WE WISH TO PURCHASE (as taken from your book): 1. page 30, Smith and Seabiscuit AP/WIDE WORLD PHOTOS 2. page 182, Seabiscuit, Tom Smith, and C. S. Howard BETTMANN/CORBIS 3. page 198, …and Seabiscuit (Seabiscuit and Red Pollard) BETTMANN/CORBIS 4. page 216, Seabiscuit and his walker visit with Red Pollard… BETTMANN/CORBIS 5. page 250, …Woolf and Seabiscuit streak over the Pimlico track… MORGAN COLLECTION/ARCHIVE PHOTOS 6. page 302, At Seabiscuit’s stall… (with Red Pollard) LOS ANGELES EXAMINER 7. Jacket Photo, owner C. S. Howard, Seabiscuit, and jockey Johnny "Red" Pollard, Arcadia, California, March 5, 1940. BETTMANN/CORBIS
Manistique, MI USA

Comments by Amanda Ford on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 04:00 IP Logged
I see this country beginning to broil with excitement over your sensational book. The stock market is going to go up and a fervor will build towards a new theme in horse racing. Your writing and strength of heart will help lead the nation in a time of searching for better health and well being thru creativity. I send you is the greatest power in the universe and yours is very apparent, touching thousands. Sincerely, Amanda Ford
Charleston, s.c. USA

Comments by Tom Brenholts on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 01:22 IP Logged
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell you how much joy you have given me by writing your book.
Mountain Top, PA USA

Comments by Barbara Lynch on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 00:39 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Thank you sooo much for your wonderful book. I hated for it to come to an end. I met you a few years back at Paabo where I have worked for over l8years. My hat is off to you for a wonderful book it was a thrill to read.
Rockville, Md. USA

Comments by Wesley McCaughan on Saturday, July 28, 2001 at 07:01 IP Logged
Christopher Reeve said of me in his book "Still me" that I had taught him how to read (not quite true) and that my story-telling in his reading class had led him to think of becoming an actor one day. Would that I had had a copy of "Seabiscuit" in my hands 40 years ago from which to have read excerpts to Chris and his classmates. "Seabiscuit" is one of the finest books I have read in all of my 76 years.

Comments by STONEY on Saturday, July 28, 2001 at 03:40 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand. Greetings from the other side of the water. Yes, the exploits of Seabiscuit have made it all the way to the UK.As a racing fan, your book was a real page-turner. I'd loved to have been there! During reading each race was awaited like a real classic. I also enjoyed the insight into a country during a time of great change. Industry, depression and even prohibition! Whatever next? Of course, war was just around the corner. I was a little disappointed to discover that the people who had triumphed through so much adversity appear to have drifted apart, and even more sad at the plight of Tom Smith. It does seem that if you don't have much to say, someone else will say it for you! Anyway, congratulations on a great read. I saved the last 30 or so pages for a special session- sure evidence of a real winner. ******For all you racing fans in the US, our English and Irish Derby winner, the Colt Galileo, has today won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot. He'll have a couple of runs now before hopefully coming to Churchill Downs in October to challenge Point Given at the Breeders Cup. Take care.
London, UK

Comments by Tom Pendergast on Saturday, July 28, 2001 at 03:05 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Well done! You are to be commeneded for your efforts in presenting this remarkable story. Thanks for breathing lfe into The Legend! Best wishes for continued success with the film. Regards, Tom Pendergast
Hazleton, PA USA

Comments by David Bordow on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 09:33 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I am the creative director for Books Are Fun. Perhaps you've heard of us. We are the largest direct marketer of books in the world, and a division of reader's Digest. I was touched by the USA Today article. I was at my company's conference in San Diego when I read the paper. Congratulations on your book! Everybody is offering you their recommendations for your CFS as I am about too! I'll make it brief... Please go to and do a search for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The nutritional supplements mentioned are from a company called Mannatech, a R&D company with a product line that is proving to be quite effective for a wide range of health conditions. CFS is being researched closely and there are many people who have been through CFS and have experienced profound results. I'll leave it at that and hope that you take a look at the website. The good news is, no matter what, I am confident that you can get relief from your disease inspite of your doctor's care (sorry for the jab, couldn't resist!!) These supplements from Manatech appear in the Physician's Desk Reference, so you can have confidence that the medical community is taking it seriously. Okay...enough said. I wish you well and great success. If you have questions, please email me.
Fairfield, IA USA

Comments by Becky on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 09:19 IP Logged
Oh to have lived in 1938!! Thank you, Laura, for taking me there and introducing me to the legend himself. And my thoughts and wishes are with you in your own personal struggle.
Alamo, GA USA

Comments by Janet Abdel-Gawad on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 08:26 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for this wonderful book about a wonderful horse! My parents attended the race between Seabiscuit & War Admiral! I hoped that I would not go to the Delivery Room before I knew if Secretariat had become the Triple-Crown Winner! (Yes, she waited until after the race.) I had also wondered how any other race could compare to the Alydar & Affirmed rivalry? The Biscuit was a marvel; I thihk he could have beaten any other horses. Do you plan to write about Alydar & Affirmed,or Secretariat? I would look forward to reading it! Thanks again for a great book!

Comments by Laura Chester (author) on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 06:59 IP Logged
Dear Laura, My best friend gave me your book for my birthday, warning me not to buy any books that began with S beforehand. As soon as the Biscuit appeared in your pages I was conpletely enthralled. But when I headed off to Oconomowoc, WI for a family reunion I forgot it. Tragedy! My father had to buy me another copy, which I promised I would mail him for HIS birthday. What goes around comes around, yes? Anyway, I then proceeded to visit my son who is working at the Jazz Festival in Aspen, and I was so engrossed in the book, I hardly noticed the horrendous thunderstorm we f lew through from Denver into Aspen. I felt I had the bit in my mouth!Thoroughly charmed by all three main characters and the equine icon they adored I could see why Seabiscuit was the NO.1 news item. For it's not the looks but the heart of a horse. I would like to send you a copy of my book, LUPUS NOVICE, if you are interested. You might relate. There is a new edition out with a preface by my doctor, Dr. Jesse Stoff who is a leading specialist in CFS. Have you read his book? HarperCollins? Please let me know where I would send this book if you would like to take a look, or check out my website for more Thanks again for a splendid birthday read. (My husband,Mason Rose, is also a Kenyon graduate, and we enjoyed your article in the bulletin. He gets the book next. It will clearly make the rounds! Best wishes, Laura Chester
Alford, MA USA

Comments by Frank Ridge on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 06:05 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I just got through chatting with your justifiably very proud Father. He told me about your problem. Your book was little short of remarkable. Considering the pain you endure, it makes your book all the more memorable and moving.I can now understand how you were able to write with such empathy about trials, tribulations, and injuries of Jockeys. Your book should be, correction it must be a shoo in for a Pullitzer. Heck I think you ought to get a Nobel Prize for this effort as well. For the record, I should tell you that I have lived these many 78 years and have never sent anyone a Fan Letter. Young lady you merit a million of them. My very warm congratulations and sincere best wishes and prayers for your health. Frank Ridge
Reston, Va USA

Comments by Stacey Olney Mertz on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 05:11 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Your book has been passed down in my family and is now going through all of our friends. I am going to buy my own copy! I can't thank you enough for bringing such an extraordinary animal and the courageous people who believed in him back to life. They will be a part of me forever! Sincerely, Stacey
Greenville, NC USA

Comments by Mike Hester on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 04:23 IP Logged
Laura, I literally just finished reading your book. It is one of the best books that I have read, ever. What a great story of a real American hero. I can't wait for the movie. Well done! Mike Hester Tomball, TX.
Tomball, TX. USA

Comments by Philip D. Calderone on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 04:21 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I have the post-great-book blues. I just finished your wonderful book, and don't see anything in the immediate future to fill up my spirit as Seabiscuit did. A brief tour through your guestbook reveals so much adulation, and racing-specific memories, that I don't know how to fit in. My love of your book is twofold. First, it is well researched and beautifully written. Personal computers have given birth to the notion that everyone is an author. Everyone is not, but you are. Thank you for the pure pleasure of a great story, well told. On a personal level, my father loved horses, and would take us to Belmont for a day of family fun together and $2 bets. We grew up in Brooklyn, and later moved to Nassau County. Even now, that I live further east in Suffolk County, Long Island, Belmont is still my favorite destination for Father's Day, or any given Sunday. My Mom and Dad would tell us stories, over and over, of their "football" wedding, where sandwiches were tossed across the room to wedding guests, like footballs. The party went through the night, and the racing form would appear in the wee hours of the morning for those who wanted to continue on to the track. Your book is about people with heart, who overcome obstacles and make no apologies for their failures. How refreshing in this day and age of talk-show panderers, giving an audience to every weakling who doesn't know what to do with his or her life. Thank you so much for your terrific book. Can you recommend other good books on horse racing? Sincerely, Philip Calderone, St. James, New York

Comments by Bill Mosley on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 01:48 IP Logged
I am almost blind and my wife just read to me the Readers Digest version of the "Seabiscuit" story which I really enjoyed. My question is "how did he spend the rest of his life after the famous race? Thanks for your response.
Fresno, CA USA

Comments by peggy hunter-jenkins on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 01:29 IP Logged
Dear Laura, It was such a pleasure to read your incredible book. I see that several people have already offered advice re CFS, but I did want to suggest that you consider the macrobiotic diet. You can get information and guidance from the Kushi Institute ( - it's incredible what following this diet can do for many serious conditions, including CFS. I know from personal experience. Recently I began acupuncture treatments; combined with the diet, this seems to be an added benefit. If you haven't already done so, I hope you will investigate macrobiotics - it really is amazing. I wish you the best of luck. Peggy Hunter
Newport, VT USA

Comments by Leanne Edinger on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 00:49 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished Seabiscuit this week. It was a fabulously written book and what a great story. I can hardly wait for the movie to come out. Leanne Edinger
Kennan, WI USA

Comments by Kenny Powers on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 00:46 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I bought a copy of Seabiscuit just before heading to Louisville for this year's Derby. Last week, I finally picked the book up and started reading it and I can't put it down. As a part-time journalist covering the sport, your book has provided me a lot of insight into the sport of racing. I hope to finish it soon and I look forward to seeing any movie or documentary projects that may result from the book. From what I have read on the history of the sport, Ken Burns should consider a documentary project that could equal the Baseball series. Please visit our website at and we would love to have you on our radio show sometime in the near future. We also hope you will come to visit us at Colonial Downs sometime. The turf racing here is the best in the country.
Richmond, V USA

Comments by Tom Lathrop on Thursday, July 26, 2001 at 09:08 IP Logged
This is old-fahsioned sportswriting at its best, reliving an event through printed words rather than seeing it on television. Unparalleled elegance in writing. Here are some old horseracing postcards to cheer you up, Laura: Tom Lathrop
Newark, DE USA

Comments by virginia hernandez on Thursday, July 26, 2001 at 08:47 IP Logged
My goodness. When I was in my twenties I worked at DRC, here in Detroit. I worked for the likes of Ben Ciborne, Jack Van Berg, Dave Zakoor,etc,as a hot walker, and finally moving up to a groom. The tracks you wrote about in Seabiscuit ended in the decade I worked in the tracks...1970's. My memories went back to those early mornings, and I found myself telling my children stories I hadn't shared with them. I, too, worked on a horse that everyone else had given up on, while I worked at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas in 1980. His name was No Sad News and I called him Good News. He had girth really bad, his ears laid out like helicopter propellers..not a very attractive horse at all. But I wasn't the most attractive person in the world either, and he and I became friends. I spent my extra money on him, buying him his own brushes so his disease wouldn't spread,etc. T-Redd was his owner, and he wouldn't put the horse in any races...he considered him dog food. So, Good News and I would spend the afternoon, talking and waiting for his chance. Finally, I talked Redd into putting him in a cheap race..Redd waved me off at first, then agreed. Good News came in second. Redd took the horse from me and gave him to his girlfriend to groom after that. I left ARkansas shortly after. I left the race tracks, shortly after that as well. But your book is xcellent. I grew up hearing stories of Seabuscuit. My parents having lived during those times..were some of the black fans that little horse had. Not having lived in those times..I cheered on Secretariat, having his picture in my room, much like other girls had Donny Osmond,etc. Just wanted you to know how much I loved the book...and I may just study for my trainers license one of these days, if 42 isn't a bit old to do so!!!!!! HorseRacing never leaves your blood, I guess and your book reminded me of that!
detroit, mi USA

Comments by Pat Stierhoff on Thursday, July 26, 2001 at 04:25 IP Logged
Hi Laura, I have read many books, yours is without a doubt one I will remember and return to many times. I am an animal lover and just lost my dog of many years. These creatures can sure worm their way into our cold hearts, can't they? Well Seabiscuit has a place there too, thanks to you. I can only imagine how many times you had a good boo-hoo when you were writing his story.I was truly enchanted with the whole book. Thank you for your bull-headed courage to write it.Seabiscuit was a real pickle, and I have had a few animals with similar personalities. Thanks for the hearty laughs from his story. Now I read you have CFS, well I have fibromyalgia, and it can really tick you off when you can't go and do what you want. I have found the best solution is to get educated about your condition, find a good Dr., then spit in the eye of your illness! Stay ornery, and take care of you. Oh and do not give up on your writing, you can really punch up the suspense! Good luck.

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