Synopses & Reviews
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.
This is a book about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is a book by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is a book about what happened to Jackie, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others when their glory days were behind them. In short, it is a book about America, about fathers and sons, prejudice and courage, triumph and disaster, and told with warmth, humor, wit, candor, and love.
Kahn recreates the magic of Dodger baseball as played in Ebbets Field during the brief dream when Brooklyn was the center of the universe. Along the way, he masterfully interweaves the story of his own youth, from early fandom to young reporterhood, traveling with and writing about his childhood idols.
The story of how the 1944 West Point football team went undefeated, captivating and inspiring the nation in the process.
About the Author
RANDY ROBERTS is a Distinguished Professor of History at Purdue University.andnbsp;His previous books include John Wayne:andnbsp;American (coauthored with James Olson), Joe Louis:andnbsp;Hard Times Man, and Papa Jack:andnbsp;Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes among others.andnbsp;He is married to Marjie Traylor Roberts and father to twin daughters, Alison and Kelly.
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