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Striking Gridiron: A Town's Pride and a Team’s Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American History

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In the summer of 1959, most of the town of Braddock, Pennsylvania---along with half a million steel workers around the country---went on strike in the longest labor stoppage in American history. With no paychecks coming in, the families of Braddock looked to its football team for inspiration.

The Braddock Tigers had played for five amazing seasons, a total of 45 games, with
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
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(showing 1-30 of 46)
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Michael Griswold
Jul 28, 2014 Michael Griswold rated it really liked it
Every book about a high school football team for better or worse may be judged against Friday Night Lights. When the subject is football this book is first rate. The reader feels like they are on the dirty, muddy, rain-soaked fields of Western Pennsylvania during the 1950's. The reader almost feels himself being hit, the pop of the pads, the jarring bone crushing hits. Where the book struggles somewhat is when the topic is not football. Nichols touches on the steel mill strike of 1959 and the ef ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it
Ambivalent though I am about football, I nevertheless am totally aware of its ability to draw people to the television on Sunday [and Monday, and etc...]. Striking Gridiron is about a town pulverized by the steel workers' strike in the 1950's, a high school football coach named Klausing, and the boys from Braddock High who played the game.

From their coach they learned discipline, respect for themselves and others, confidence, manners. Oh, and yes, they learned how to play winning football. Klau
Nikolas Samson
The authors purpose for writing "Striking Gridiron was to show that in football it doesn't just matter on how you win on the field or in the locker room, but how you win in the community and how you overcome racism in the small town of Braddock, Pennsylvania. The author mainly touches on the point on how it does not matter if your town is big or small that football or any sport could get the whole town to love the game and want to show up to games and participate in extracurricular activities. T ...more
Aug 16, 2014 Matt rated it liked it
Adverse events and high school football have both been around for a while. The two have often intersected during the long period while the two have existed simultaneously. These instances are frequently chronicled by purveyors of the written word. As a result, Greg Nichols' Striking Gridiron, which recounts a western Pennsylvanian team's attempt at breaking the consecutive win record in the midst of a steel strike, enters a pretty crowded field. The book is well-written and researched and decent ...more
Gunnar Rains
Nov 06, 2015 Gunnar Rains rated it really liked it
I finished reading “Striking Gridiron: A Town's Pride and a Team's Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American History,” and I thought it was a very good book. The book is about a little town in Pittsburgh named Braddock in the middle of the biggest strike in American history. At the beginning it starts a little slow because it introduces the characters. I believe the main vocal point though was the coach. His name was Chuck Klausing and he was trying to take his football team to 6 stra ...more
Sep 10, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing
Striking Gridiron reached deeply into buried memories of my life growing up in Braddock Pennsylvania.. The "squirrelly" Ernie Vida mentioned in the book was my father and I grew up with my mom and dad being family friends of Chuck and Joann Klausing.. Even though I was under 10 during the winning years, I attended Braddock High in the 60's and all the names mentioned were part of my life growing up in Braddock....Mr. Horan was a great influence in my life, Miss McGinley, Mr. Carr and all the co ...more
P.e. lolo
Feb 23, 2015 P.e. lolo rated it it was amazing
This book about a high school football team from the 50’s in Pennsylvania, Braddock Pennsylvania, to be exact. Opens with the last game of the 1958 season North Braddock High against Braddock High, Braddock won 9-6 and now along with the championship coach Klausing has another year to see if they can remain undefeated for six years. The story entwines his love of his family and how important they are to him, 5 children and his wife who at this time they have been married 15 years. The author tak ...more
A Reader's Heaven
Dec 09, 2014 A Reader's Heaven rated it really liked it
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

Striking Gridiron: A Town's Pride and a Team's Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American History tells the story of the Braddock Tigers, a high school football team in the midst of a winning run that has stretched over 5 seasons. The story tells of the 1959 season and the many hardships faced by the players, the team and the community they live in (in Pennsylvania) during the national steel strike th
Oct 06, 2014 K. rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
(I received a copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for review.)

In Striking Gridiron, Greg Nichols recounts the story of the Braddock Tigers and their 1959 quest to break the record for the longest winning streak in high school football. Nichols' narrative focuses primarily on Tigers coach Chuck Klausing and the role he played in shaping the on- and off-the-field experiences of his players.

Klausing is, without a doubt, the central focus of the book - the majority of the narrative is dev
Mar 16, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Really enjoyed this book, which covers one of the winningest high school football teams in history. It's engagingly written, and the characters are so beautifully drawn, the era really springs to life. Nichols handles especially well the blatant and disheartening racism of the period. But what you'll really take away is how thrilling it was for this small town high school football team to have achieved a national record. Some of the most memorable scenes are when Sports Illustrated comes to this ...more
Brian E. Spivey
Oct 08, 2014 Brian E. Spivey rated it it was amazing
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

Having attended high school at a small school, much smaller than Braddock, during the 1970's I was easily able to related to the idea and and circumstances dealt with in this book. I,too,was a high school football player with little or no opportunity for a scholarship due to attending such a small school.

The idea of following this outstanding football team as they sought and captured a record 56 straight games was inspired. The author gave insigh
Aug 23, 2014 Brian rated it liked it
Striking Gridiron covers the record breaking run of the Braddock Tigers and the national steel strike that intertwined the season. This book offers not only a look at high school football and a team that fought through their toughness to break six years of undefeated seasons. The story follows key players, the coach and the town that cheered the team on to victory. This book provides an excellent look into a steel town that has fallen from its former glory today. As someone who used to recruit h ...more
Sean Kottke
Aug 09, 2014 Sean Kottke rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received an advance electronic copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This deserves to be on the same shelf with Friday Night Lights and Muck City and the documentary Undefeated as an essential entry in the literature on the central role that high school football plays in shaping American community identities, particularly in small communities in crisis. It also happens to be a great story of American labor and race relations at a pivotal point at the end of what Eric
Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
Nov 26, 2014 Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
My husband and I are big football fans and harbor soft spots for goose bump-inducing high school football stories. So, Striking Gridiron was right up my alley. The big question was if Nichols would be able to give me goose bumps in a situation where I already knew the ending…but, he succeeded!

That being said, this is a book for football fans.

To continue reading, visit my blog,
Oct 24, 2014 Ben rated it really liked it
Excellent sports book about a real-life Friday Night Lights town and high school team in the 1950's. It's refreshing to read a sports story that doesn't involve scandal, drugs, or cocky, overpaid pro athletes. I would have appreciated a bit more on the steel strikes and their national and local impact. The strikes are mostly just addressed as the reason that the labor force got so excited about football as a distraction.
Gordon Ehler
Apr 15, 2015 Gordon Ehler rated it really liked it
A good book weaving high school football and the industrial heritage and trials of a small town outside Pittsburgh. An insight into a changing American landscape and the glory of a winning teams journey to a new record while a town and a way of life erodes around them. Well done and this effort by Nichols is much more than a "sports" book.
victor harris
Dec 30, 2014 victor harris rated it it was amazing
Covers the Braddock, Pa. Tigers of 1959 as they attempt to set the record for the nation's longest winning streak in high school football. Set against the backdrop of the cultural milieu of the 1950s and the 1959 steel strike that economically paralyzed Braddock, it is a fast-paced enjoyable read. Excellent game action descriptions and biographical portraits of the main characters.
Sep 10, 2014 Chanda2426 rated it it was amazing
Greg Nichols' book Striking Gridiron puts Friday Night Lights to shame. The prose and imagery was so vivid it reads as more a narrative than a non-fiction work. I couldn't put it down for even a second. I felt myself pulling for the Tigers and the cast of characters I came to love. Nichols is an amazing author and I can't wait to see what he writes next.
Karen & Gerard
This book is really good! I love how the author gave background on the coach, players and the people of the town. It has great descriptions of the games too. I was into it from the first page! (Gerard's review)
Jun 12, 2016 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Outstanding mix of football and life in America in the 1950's. Life was simpler - yet oh so very complex - then.
Cameron Francis
Cameron Francis rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2014
ronald rated it really liked it
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Jul 24, 2015
Mitch Ryan
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Jan 20, 2016
Neal rated it it was amazing
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Patrick rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2014
Greg Henning
Greg Henning rated it liked it
May 20, 2015
Matt Denis
Matt Denis rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2015
Z rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2015
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Author and journalist GREG NICHOLS has followed his penchant for place-based reporting from the barrios of South America to the steel towns of Western Pennsylvania. His article on Braddock for Pittsburgh Quarterly won the 2012 Golden Quill Awards for Best History/Culture Feature and Best Sports Feature.

Nichols holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and an M.
More about Greg Nichols...

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