Bardowell ably demonstrates the power of the media to determine the narratives around these sporting lives. He flags up the false binaries often promoted between good (patriotic) and bad (self-centred) black sportswomen and men; between, for instance, the avuncular, self-deprecating boxer Frank Bruno and the aloof Lennox Lewis (more expedient Canadian than true Brit)... No Win Race can seem a little pedestrian in the telling but it’s a valuable act of remembrance of sporting stars who put their careers on the line in pursuit of a moral right.
Dopeworld: Adventures in Drug Lands
"To its credit, Dopeworld is nothing if not ambitious. Vorobyov states as much himself, describing it bombastically as ‘true crime, gonzo, social, historical memoir meets fucked up travel book’. That is a lot to cram in. If sometimes he drops the ball (the..."
— The Spectator
Bardowell does an excellent and passionate job of refracting the issues within sport — the dearth of black football managers, the lack of activism from black athletes who have made it into the spotlight — into wider society. Using lines from hip-hop — Bardowell was formerly a music journalist — he celebrates the undervalued breakthroughs of football personalities such as John Barnes and Ian Wright. Yet although the author sounds a note of cautious hope, this book illustrates just how little parity has emerged from the those moments of promise.