A fine sports book with a stirring extra dimension.

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FIELDS OF BATTLE

PEARL HARBOR, THE ROSE BOWL, AND THE BOYS WHO WENT TO WAR

A veteran sports journalist revisits “the most unusual yet meaningful Rose Bowl Game” ever.

In 1941, Duke University was a national football power. Under legendary coach Wallace Wade, the Blue Devils were undefeated and slated for their second trip to the Rose Bowl to face Lon Stiner’s Oregon State Beavers, surprise winners of the Pacific Coast Conference. West Coast security concerns following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor forced officials to move the game from its customary venue in Pasadena, California, to Duke’s home field. As he prepares us for this extraordinary match-up, Curtis (Every Week a Season: A Journey Inside Big-Time College Football, 2004, etc.) explores each school’s distinct culture, introduces coaches and select players, and summarizes the evolution of each team’s season, including the unusual logistical challenges posed by the last-minute site change and the game's charged wartime atmosphere. He doesn’t neglect the big game’s details (an Oregon State upset), but he focuses mostly on what came after, the horror of a world war into which more than 70 of the game’s participants immediately plunged. Yes, Curtis invokes the hoary football-as-war analogy in his title, exhortatory quotations from the likes of Wade and Vince Lombardi, but mainly he’s careful to distinguish between an arduous game and savage war. In Europe and the Pacific, the boys of the Rose Bowl became men. Four were killed, many wounded; some won medals, and not a few returned to lives marked by alcoholism, depression, and divorce. Especially memorable are the tales of OSU’s Stan Czech, who before his capture as a POW shared a hasty cup of coffee with Duke’s Wade in a foxhole; Jack Yoshihara, the “alien” prohibited from traveling with his team to the Rose Bowl and who spent the war in an internment camp; and Frank Parker, the Beaver standout who rescued a Duke player near death on the battlefield.

A fine sports book with a stirring extra dimension.

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-250-05958-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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