Booktalk: Christopher McDougall’s “Running with Sherman”

Chris McDougall’s “Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero”  introduces us to a small farm in rural Pennsylvania and the McDougall family and their menagerie (donkeys, rams, chickens, fainting goats) who live there.

The author’s new book about Sherman is part scientific exploration of the lost art of connecting with animals, part vivid telling of what life’s like in the southern part of Amish country, part radical rehabilitation story, part deep dive into the crazy sport that is burro racing (and the insane training required to run 15 miles with a donkey in tow in Colorado’s high altitude), and part road trip that cuts through the best of Americana. Along the way impossibly, improbably, Sherman who starts out as a rescue donkey in this story learns to run.

Perhaps that’s not a giant surprise as Chris is perhaps best known, especially among runners, as the author of “Born to Run” , a story that recounts his travels through Mexico’s Copper Canyons to meet and live with the Tarahumara Indians, the world’s greatest distance runners.


Top authors are interviewed on this 10-minute program that captures their words about their books and ideas and often the story behind the story. The show, hosted by Diana Korte and engineered by Gene Korte, has been in production for over 20 years.