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Tom Madigan, author, Snake vs. Mongoose

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Interviews by Bob Andelman

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Don "The Snake" Prudhomme in his Barracuda. Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen in his Duster. The "Snake vs. Mongoose" racing feud had been making headlines long before they got their Funny Cars, but it wasn't until they made a deal with Mattel that drag racing became the multimillion-dollar business that it is today. Happily co-opted by Mattel, the rivalry described in Snake vs. Mongoose was nonetheless real. Author Tom Madigan tells the story from the beginning, when engine builder Ed Donovan, with a nod to "The Jungle Book," dubbed his driver "The Mongoose"--the one creature who could strike faster than a Snake. The book chronicles the bad press, the toe-to-toe standoffs, and some of the best races in drag racing history. And within that story, Madigan captures the transformation of drag racing from the gritty, gut-driven sport of the 60s into the full-fledged money-making machine of our day.

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