The narrative is mostly engaging, but the author’s overuse of clichés and exclamation points becomes grating.




The tale of a time when it was unclear if Dallas was big enough for one professional football team, much less two.

Prior to the 1960s, Texas was a football state, and Dallas was a football town, but the high school and college games prevailed in the Lone Star State. Lamar Hunt, Dallas native, scion of an oil baron and a former football player at Southern Methodist University, wanted to bring professional football, which had come and gone in an epic flameout in the early 1950s, to Dallas. However, the National Football League seemed to have little interest in accommodating Hunt, who instead came up with the idea of a new league to challenge the NFL. The American Football League brought a free-wheeling, exciting brand of football to a number of American cities that did not have a professional football team, and to a few that did. Hunt’s new league also allowed him finally to own a team based in Dallas, but his Texans would not, in fact, enjoy a monopoly over the burgeoning city. Once plans for the AFL came to fruition, the NFL chose to expand into the Dallas area with the establishment of the Cowboys, whose owner, Clint Murchison, was another from Texas’ seemingly inexhaustible supply of rich oil men. Veteran sports journalist Eisenberg (That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory, 2009, etc.) tells the story of the competition for fans that the Texans and Cowboys waged through much of the 1960s, until Hunt picked up and left for Kansas City to found the Chiefs.

The narrative is mostly engaging, but the author’s overuse of clichés and exclamation points becomes grating.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-43550-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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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

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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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