A fittingly exhaustive history of a larger-than-life franchise.




Texas journalist and author Patoski (Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, 2008, etc.) delivers an oversized history of one of sport’s greatest franchises.

The Dallas Cowboys’ on-field achievements—five Super Bowl wins, 10 conference championships, 21 division titles and 30 playoff appearances in their 52-year history—have arguably been overshadowed by their impact on professional football and popular culture in general, earning them the nickname “America’s Team.” Patoski’s in-depth study gives readers everything they want to know about “The Boys” and much more, from the field to the front office, the media and, of course, the famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. The author also tracks the parallel development of the city of Dallas, with a focus on business and politics. For a book about a football team, there’s surprisingly little football, though the author briefly recaps the triumphs and tragedies of star players like Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith. Patoski barely mentions the subpar teams of the 1980s, though he does document the most recent edition’s struggles, highlighted by the drama surrounding talented and camera-friendly quarterback Tony Romo. Patoski spends a surprising amount of time discussing the media coverage of the team, but the majority of the narrative belongs to the ownership and front office, with the first two-thirds dominated by the man most responsible for the Cowboys’ success and for much of what an NFL franchise looks like today, team president and general manager Tex Schramm. Schramm and legendary coach Tom Landry got pushed out when “reptilian” Arkansas oil-and-gas baron Jerry Jones, a cartoon villain of a franchise owner, purchased the team in 1989, beginning the modern era of the Cowboys and keeping them in the headlines with controversy and equal measures of success and failure on and off the gridiron.

A fittingly exhaustive history of a larger-than-life franchise.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-07755-2

Page Count: 816

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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


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

Did you like this book?


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet