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Carlisle Vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner, and the Forgotten Story of Football's Greatest Battle
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Carlisle Vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner, and the Forgotten Story of Football's Greatest Battle

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  167 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A stunning work of narrative nonfiction, Carlisle vs. Army recounts the fateful 1912 gridiron clash that pitted one of America’s finest athletes, Jim Thorpe, against the man who would become one of the nation’s greatest heroes, Dwight D. Eisenhower. But beyond telling the tale of this momentous event, Lars Anderson also reveals the broader social and historical context of ...more
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Random House
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 324)
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Steven Peterson
In 1912, one of the classic American football games was played--between Carlisle and mighty Army. A book published in 2007 covers much of the same territory, "The Real All Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, a People, a Nation" by Sally Jenkins--and covers it well. But Lars Anderson's book, approaching the issues differently, likewise has created a wonderful examination of that game and events leading up to it.

The structure of Anderson's book weaves the story of three people together, culm
...more
Joshua
Very entertaining book about the early days of college football--much different than the modern game of today. By early days I mean the early 20th century up to a game played between the Carlisle Indian School and Army in 1912. Carlisle had a star athlete from Oklahoma by the name of Jim Thorpe; Army had Dwight Eisenhower; Carlisle coach was Pop Warner.

The book is a great combination of sport history, suspense and description of what it was like for Natives at this time culturally. By the end w
...more
Kevin Kery
This was a simply wonderful book. It appears to be pretty painstakingly researched, even if a great deal of the narrative is admittedly "filled in" by the author.

I've been fascinated with the Carlisle Indian School since 2004 when I briefly lived on on the campus of a Jesuit run reservation school in South Dakota. To read about Thorpe, who to my understanding is still firmly within godlike status to most natives, was incredibly gratifying. Anderson won me over by telling his story in a positive
...more
Terry
Jun 30, 2010 Terry rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Terry by: all-school summer reading
Of the three historical figures whose lives Anderson traces to their intersection at a football game between Army and the Carlisle Indian School in 1912, I find myself most interested in the life of Carlisle's coach, "Pop" Warner. Although I suspect a bit of myth-making in the attribution of nearly every football innovation of the first few decades of the 20th century to this one man, I find that Warner's wily tactics translate to the page more effectively than Jim Thorpe's athletic grace or Dwi ...more
Mark Stratton
A book about a football game that is about far more than a football game.

In the early 20th Century, the traditional College Football powers were in the Northeast part of the country. Army aspired to that level of greatness, and so did the Carlisle Indian School. This book traces the lives of three Legends, Pop Warner, Jim Thorpe and Dwight Eisenhower. Decent, yet hardly deep and resonate biographies of each man are presented, along with a nice historical overview of College Football through 191
...more
Meg
This book is not about football as much as it is about Native Americans finding their way in white society only a generation after their fathers and grandfathers had settled on reservations in the west. The book chronicles the lives of Pop Warner, head football coach at Carlisle Indian Boarding school, Jim Thorpe, a Sauc/Fox indian and naturally phenomenal all-around athlete from a reservation in Oklahoma who would go on to win multiple gold medals in his first and only Olympics, and Dwight "Ike ...more
Alger
A superior book related in a breezy style.

The Carlisle School v West Point Game of 1912 was arguably the moment that made football America's game, and a real competitor to baseball. There isn't much here that is new information, but the telling recombines the elements into a parallel biography of Thorpe and Ike whose time on the football field is explicitly a reenactment of Wounded Knee and a moment of revenge for decades of humiliation on the part of the Carlisle team.

Elgin
This was a fantastic story, all the more so because it is true. Most interesting were the biographies Pop Warner
and the stories of Jim Thorpe and Dwight Eisenhower through their football playing days. The author did a good job
of describing what life was like for Indians in those days (only a couple of dozen years after the Wounded Knee massacre.)
The people who dedicated their lives to native americans in those days (however misguided their motives) are to be admired.
I most enjoyed reading about
...more
Jerry
Mar 28, 2015 Jerry added it
This was excellent. A great history of the early years of football, the Indian Boarding schools, Pop Warner, Jim Thorpe and Dwight Eisenhower. Well written. Read like a novel, although historical.
Ken
How many stories do you know that can weave together one of America's greatest athletes, milestone events in U.S. history, football, the Army, and a dash of the Olympics all into one? This is likely one of the greatest sports stories you have never heard. Carlisle Vs. Army tells the story of how three historical figures: Pop Warner, Jim Thorpe, and a young Dwight Eisenhower all converged on the football field in an epic game between the Carlisle Indian School and West Point. The stories of Jim T ...more
Tim Wilhelm
This book, regardless of my biased dislike of football, was a fascinating educational experience. Suspense mixed with Anderson's impeccable, passionate writing (he is a writer for Sports Illustrated, after all) really captivated me even if I had no interest whatsoever in the sport or didn't comprehend the terms involved in the sport. Even though the author obviously was an avid football fan, he did an excellent job with sticking to the history and main characters. The story did have occasional t ...more
Doug
This book tells some of the same story as Sally Jenkins' "The Real All-Americans," but this one focuses on the rivalry between The US Military Academy's football team and that of Carlisle Academy. This was a chance for the Native Americans, whose last encounters with the US Army had ended in tragedy, humiliation and a loss of their previous way of life, to gain some measure of revenge. Meanwhile, the cadtes were a proud, ambitious group of overacievers themselves, led by none other than Dwight E ...more
Bonnie_blu
Before reading this book, I had only a very basic knowledge of Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School. Anderson's book gives a fascinating account of the origin and growth of the school and the role Jim Thorpe played in its football team's rise to fame in the early part of the twentieth century. As the title states, Thorpe and the school played West Point when Dwight Eisenhower was a cadet and on the football team. While I don't think the match up between Eisenhower and Thorpe is important, t ...more
John Heuvelman
Very interesting book. It was written as a parallel biography of Jim Thorpe (with Pop Warner) and Ike, with the culmination in the football game played between Carlisle Indian School and the U.S. Military Academy. The book provided not only factual information, but insight into the personalities involved and their motivations. Although the events took place 100 years ago and more, Anderson brings them back to live as if they had just happened.

For fans of football, especially those with an intere
...more
Chandler
Overall enjoyable read. The author used painstaking research to recreate a time in college football history where little to no games were filmed with motion pictures or cameras. His lengthy descriptions of games culled from newspaper articles recreated the events that led up to this historical confrontation with a lot of gusto. However, the mini autobiographies of both Thorpe and Eisenhower seemed tacked on and unnecessary to the overall story being told.
Nathan
An interesting topic. I've always been fascinated by Jim Thorpe and was happy to learn more about him. Considering his raw athletic abilities, it's almost scary to think about how good he could have been if he had fulfilled his potential. I didn't think the writing in this book was all that great, but that could have also been skewed by the fact that I read a book by Pulitzer Prize winning historian Barbara Tuchman right before this.
Jamon
Jun 04, 2008 Jamon marked it as to-read
Heard the peice on NPR while living by Carlisle, but apparently Carlisle Indian school waited all season to show the forward pass at the final game against army. According to the author, as soon as the fans saw the spiral go for 30 years, they all of the sudden starting routing for the agile native americans to beat the brutish Army. Now living by West Point I can not imagine such fan fickle-ness.
Dustin long
Good read on a football game in 1912 between Army with future president Dwight Eisenhower and the Carlisle school (for native Americans) that feaured Jim Thorpe and its place in history. Detailed narrative that is well researched and gives you a sense of what life was like back then. If you think about the details the author revales, you marvel at the work it took to gather all that information.

Chris Bailey
Awesome story of the early years of college football. Carlisle vs. Army covers some of the history leading up to that game and the history of the legendary figures that played in it. I recommend it for people who are interested in Native American Sports figures or football history.
Bjoy Davidson
As a big football fan (go hapless Browns and Wolverines) this history of the game is really interesting. As a look at how White Europeans decided the fate of the "savages" also interesting and important to be reminded of.
Joy
Feb 08, 2009 Joy marked it as to-read
While wandering through my favorite book store I stumbled upon a "Football" table full of books - and this one was on it. First few pages have been interesting - looking forward to the rest of it.
Alyssa
Mar 20, 2008 Alyssa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alyssa by: DR. FUNK
I thought that I wouldn't like this book because I'm not at all into football, but it was enthralling! Great if you're an athlete or interested in American history.
Frank
This book raises a lot of interesting topics. In the end, though, it tries to address too many topics and is unable to address any of them with the necessary complexity.
Rob O'd
What I learned - I need to read more about Dwight Eisenhower. Learned so much about Carlisle College, Pop Warner, Jim Thorpe - too much to list here.
Phil C
Enjoyed the book, the bouncing around from date to date seemed like a fruitless exercise @ times. Great details about Ike's career at the Academy.
Dalton
Feb 11, 2009 Dalton marked it as to-read
The reason i want to read this book is because my friend Brit had me read some parts and they were so detailed.
Ann
So interesting for anyone who loves football. Lots of famous people pop up in this history of Collegiate football.
Robert Vandiver
Good book--who knew that Army Carlisle , Yale, Columbia and Harvard were the big football powers at one time?
Robert Child
I knew nothing about Jim Thorpe. This was truly eye opening.
Brent
Amazing story about Jim Thorpe.
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