Luca dal Monte’s mammoth biography of Enzo Ferrari arrived last year, but it took us a while to both procure a copy and cover its near-thousand pages. Having finally done so, it’s easy to recommend you do the same.
If the pen is mightier than the sword, then the hardback edition of this monstrous tome is certainly an effective weapon. In scope, ambition and page count this bears comparison with some of the lengthier biographies we’ve covered recently.
Philip Porter produced over 600 pages on the first 26 years of Stirling Moss’s life, with volume two apparently on its way. In comparison Dal Monte’s work is more condensed, and is more readable for it.
This titanic chronology of Ferrari’s life has obvious aspirations to be considered the definitive work on a uniquely important figure in motoring and motor racing history. It is a must for fans of Ferrari – the man and the machines – it as comprehensive an account of his life you’ll find.
For less committed Tifosi there is also masses to enjoy here, although skim-reading is recommended for some of the more arcane detail. Ferrari is central to the narrative, and the author thankfully avoids the temptation to use the Ferrari shield as a route to rehash the stories of Chris Amon or Gilles Villeneuve.
Throughout the work is clearly impeccably sourced, and goes well beyond and superficial narratives – with constant insight into Ferrari’s thoughts on his drivers and how he navigated some of the politics of the time.
Again this is partly a matter of necessity with a book of this size. Crucially, key moments are told through the prism of Ferrari’s experience, so it what happened back in Maranello rather than at the track which comes through.
The prose is brisk and accessible, and has enough time to ground the story in the context of the times, without losing pace or focus. Superbly researched, well written and comprehensive, Dal Monte’s comprehensive account of Enzo Ferrari’s life is highly recommended.
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“Enzo Ferrari: Power, politics and the making of an automotive empire”
Author: Luca dal Monte
Publisher: David Bull Publishing
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