I finally read this book recently:
I understand why it's been such a big hit in the running community. It's equal parts travel narrative, sports commentary, history lesson and memoir all rolled into a well written book, and it took me all of two days to read it. Good thing I don't have anything better to do.
McDougall's book has helped drive the barefoot running movement, so much that the makers of Vibram Fivefingers should throw him an annual party to thank him. As it turns out, the sections detailing the advantages of barefoot running were nearly taken out, but McDougall's editor convinced him to keep them in. McDougall should throw his editor an annual party to thank him.
Several years after the publication of his book, author McDougall is still at it. In the following video, he gives a brief tutorial on a long lost method of running that should help eliminate injuries that often plague distance runners. He instructs them to remove their shoes, then runs them through some basic movements to improve their strides and footfalls.
Having read the book, as well as numerous articles and blog entries on barefoot running, I'm more conscious of the way I run, and I'm convinced McDougall would have a field day analyzing my gait. I propel myself with a long stride while landing on my heel and rolling through on the outside of my foot. It may not be proper, but as I've said before, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. With no major injuries in my time running, no point on changing things now.