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High-school sports—like sports at every level—are seldom just about competition. Politics, money, ambition, and race are often as important as speed and strength. Jennings, a Sports Illustrated veteran, shadowed the football program at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, during the 2007 season. It wasn’t just any season; it was the fiftieth anniversary of the 1957 integration of the school. He traces the tumultuous racial machinations of the Little Rock school district through the years, noting the white migration to the suburbs and the rise of private schools, which serve as a haven for those who wish to avoid the mostly black public-school system. In this often-difficult environment, head coach Bernie Cox built a football powerhouse around discipline, accountability, citizenship, and tradition. But the anniversary year of 2007 would not be an easy one. The kids, seemingly divorced from the winning tradition, never bonded as teammates or, perhaps, were just not as talented as their predecessors. Jennings takes readers on a thoughtful, sometimes disheartening tour of urban high-school athletics, a tour that provides no answers but raises all the right questions. --Wes Lukowsky
"Carry the Rock transcends the season-on-the-brink genre." --Wall Street Journal
"Jennings seems to epitomize the journalistic ideal that stories aren't meant to tell people what to think, they're meant to tell people what to think about." --Sync Weekly
"Unsentimental yet inspiring..."
--Joe Queenan, author of True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans and Closing Time: A Memoir
"When a native son juxtaposes passion for football and the tumultuous history of race relations in Little Rock, the result is a must-read page turner. " --Minnijean Brown Trickey, Little Rock Nine member
I tried several times to get into this book, but the mixture of high school football, desegregation, local history, and boring writing style had me closing it and going on to more... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a wonderful story of a Southern town centered around its flagship public school, Central High. Read morePublished on May 11, 2013 by DDSC
I received this book as a Christmas present and read it a short time afterward. This historical narrative looks at the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock Central High... Read morePublished on January 4, 2013 by Steven M. Anthony
This book provided a view into the city of Little Rock only seen by an Arkansan. This book benefited me greatly and was an easy read.Published on August 12, 2011 by Jacksonville AFB
A detailed account of a football team's journey through the historic 2007 season, exactly 50 years after the Little Rock 9. Read morePublished on April 27, 2011 by Dr. Cathy Goodwin
This book studies the parallels between high school football in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the progress of race relations. Read morePublished on April 27, 2011 by Lee S. Mairs
An excellent book about Arkansas, race and football written by a local author coming back to the state. Read morePublished on January 3, 2011 by JG
This book was advertised as the Little Rock version of "Friday Night Lights," with a "progress on civil rights in Little Rock in the interval since 1957" narrative incorporated. Read morePublished on December 26, 2010 by Melanchthon
I was interested in this topic, but just could not get engaged by the author. There are story tellers and there are word writers who can get the story written down without telling... Read morePublished on October 25, 2010 by brazos49