A must for Packers fan and a worthwhile read for football enthusiasts in general.

THE PEOPLE'S TEAM

AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE GREEN BAY PACKERS

An illustrated history of one of professional football’s most storied franchises.

On Sept. 14, 1919, the Green Bay Packers played their first game in front of approximately 1,500 people. The spectators were separated from the field by rope, and team co-founder George Whitney Calhoun passed a hat among them for donations. A century later, Forbes values the Packers at more than $2.5 billion, the team’s stadium has a capacity of 81,441, and every home game since 1960 has sold out. In his second book, Beech (When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football, 2012), a senior editor at the Players’ Tribune and a former writer for Sports Illustrated, convincingly argues that through lean times (one playoff appearance between 1972 and 1994) and glory years (13 league championships, including three straight from both 1929 to 1931 and 1965 to 1967), the people of Green Bay have provided financial and moral support to their beloved squad, the NFL’s only publicly owned team. Biographical sketches of the team’s most prominent figures enhance the narrative, as do many intriguing factoids—e.g., devout Catholic and legendary coach Vince Lombardi disliked the philandering Curly Lambeau, the team’s co-founder and stadium namesake, and Green Bay was the nation’s leading producer of toilet paper, an industry that helped spare the city from the worst effects of the Great Depression. Beech fumbles only occasionally: He lists Super Bowl XLV between the Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers as “Super Bowl XVL.” Brett Favre’s freshman year at Southern Mississippi University was 1987, not 1990. The author’s assertion that the 1967 NFL championship game between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys remains “the coldest game ever played” is debatable; the 1981 AFC championship game in Cincinnati represents the coldest temperature in NFL game history in terms of wind chill. But these are minor quibbles with an overall illuminating sports narrative.

A must for Packers fan and a worthwhile read for football enthusiasts in general.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-46013-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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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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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

TOMBSTONE

THE EARP BROTHERS, DOC HOLLIDAY, AND THE VENDETTA RIDE FROM HELL

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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