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Seabiscuit: An American Legendby Laura Hillenbrand
Synopses & Reviews
andquot;A rousing celebration of a moment in history when college football was more than metaphor and entertainment, it was a gritty sidebar to real war.andrdquo; andmdash; Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter Each year the Army and Navy football teams meet for one epic game. Across the nation, fans tune in to see who will emerge victorious. But no game will ever match the one that was played on December 2, 1944. America was in the midst of World War II: soldiers and sailors were dying around the globe, and the home front suffered through shortages. But for one day, all that was forgotten.
Navyandrsquo;s team was ranked number two, Armyandrsquo;s number one and on the verge of becoming national champions. Everywhere, the war stopped as soldiers listened to the broadcast. Randy Roberts has interviewed the surviving players and coaches, bringing their stories to life. For three years, military upperclassmen graduated and joined the fight. For three hours, their alma mater gave them back one unforgettable performance.
andldquo;The story of Armyandrsquo;s celebrated 1944 national championship team is a fascinating one, and its victory over Navy that year is remembered as one of college footballandrsquo;s greatest games. But Randy Robertsandrsquo;s A Team for America tells an even greater story. It is a story of our country. Of a time when college football andmdash; and this remarkable Army team andmdash; helped rekindle hope and confidence throughout the land.andrdquo; andmdash; Brigadier General Peter M. Dawkins, U.S. Army (Ret.), 1958 Heisman Trophy winner, West Point
andquot;Roberts brings a historianandrsquo;s thoroughness to the subject . . . A fascinating time in American collegiate sports history.andquot; andmdash; Kirkus Reviews
Including a decadeand#8217;s worth of interviews with surviving players and coaches, Randy Roberts describes how the resurgent Army football team captured the national championship from Navy in the midst of World War Two. One of the greatest stories in American sports history, A Team for America shows how two historic rivals built up their teams in trying times and inspired a nation at war.
The story of how the 1944 West Point football team went undefeated, captivating and inspiring the nation in the process.
One of the greatest stories in American sports history: how the 1944 Army team beat Navy, captured a championship, and inspired a nation at war.
and#8220;There never has been a sports event, perhaps never an event of any kind, that received the attention of so many Americans in so many places around the world.and#8221; So wrote a reporter on December 2, 1944, about the greatest Army-Navy football game in the long history of that storied rivalry. World War II raged; President Roosevelt was seriously ill, only a few months away from death; and Americans on the home front suffered through shortagesand#8212;including, just days before the game, a Thanksgiving without turkey or pie. But for one day, all that was forgotten.
Armyand#8217;s team was ranked number 1, Navyand#8217;s number 2. Armyand#8217;s years of football misery had been lifted by a wartime team and a brilliant coach who made them a contender. If they beat Navy, they would be national champions. For a few short hours the war seemed to stop, as U.S. soldiers around the world tuned in to a broadcast of the game and turned their thoughts toward home.
Randy Roberts has interviewed surviving players and coaches for nearly a decade to bring to life one of the most memorable stories in all of American sports. For three years, Army football upperclassmen had graduated and joined the fight, from Normandy beaches to Pacific atolls. For three hours, their alma mater gave them back one unforgettable performance.
Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes:
Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.
Author Laura Hillenbrand brilliantly re-creates a universal underdog story, one that proves life is a horse race.
About the Author
Laura Hillenbrand has been writing about Thoroughbred racing since 1988 and has been a contributing writer/editor for Equus magazine since 1989. Her work has also appeared in American Heritage, ABC Sports Online, The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times, The Backstretch, Turf and Sport Digest and many other publications. Her 1998 American Heritage article on Seabiscuit won the Eclipse Award for Magazine Writing, the highest award for Thoroughbred racing. She is currently serving as a consultant on a Universal Studios movie based on this book. Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Laura lives in Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
and#160;1.and#160;A Week in Novemberand#8195;1
and#160;2.and#160;Where the Most Football Games Are Lostand#8195;20
and#160;3.and#160;A Few Good Boysand#8195;43
and#160;4.and#160;Lost Teeth and Lost Chancesand#8195;63
and#160;5.and#160;and#8220;God Gave Me Thatand#8221;and#8195;82
and#160;6.and#160;Making the Gradeand#8195;98
and#160;8.and#160;and#8220;Iand#8217;ve Just Seen Supermanand#8221;and#8195;127
and#160;11.and#160;Cause for Thanksgivingand#8195;198
and#160;12.and#160;A Game for Americaand#8195;216
After the 1944 Seasonand#8195;236
Notes and Abbreviationsand#8195;245
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