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The Courting of Marcus Dupree Paperback – October 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi; Reprint edition (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878055851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878055852
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Winner of a Christopher Award in 1984 for "affirming the highest value of the human spirit," the classic account of a young black athlete who became a metaphor for the complex culture of Mississippi

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
In "North Towards Home" Mississippi born author Willie Morris suggested that he was able to fully understand his home state only after he had lived for a time away from it. In "The Courting of Marcus Dupree", the inimitable Morris returns to his beloved Mississippi, acutely and painfully aware of both the greatness and the terrible tragedy of the place which has basically made Morris the writer and person he is.
Morris returned in 1980 to a radically changed and changing place, and although the locale for 80% of the book is Philadelphia, a Central Mississippi "hill" town, rather than the edge-of-the-Delta Yazoo City of his boyhood, Morris, as usual, evocatively captures the scenes, images, and activity of this town and the state as a whole, in his account of a high school senior All-State running-back and the nationwide recruiting for his talents. Actually, I remember firsthand the media sensation surrounding Marcus Dupree from Philadelphia High School in the fall of 1981, partly because I was a sophomore in high school in another Mississippi town about 150 miles away. In his descriptions of the high school and town itself, the students, the often uneasy yet usually unaffected black-white relationships by that time, and the fervor of high school athletics itself, especially fall football was all, to me, right-on-target and accurate. Morris' eye for detail in the area of social interaction; the picking up of the subtle look or gesture, or offhand comment, reported as indeed, non-fiction, rather than creating fictional characters, is one of his strong suits.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V. Ravindran on November 9, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an OU fan and a person who remember Marcus Dupree light up Norman during his brief time, I was very excited to have a little bit more background on this fascinating person.
The book hits several different topics. Obviously his recruitment of many football schools at times take center stage. But much of the book also discusses the effect of a black athlete becoming a state hero in Mississippi and gaining fans of all races. The foil of Dupree's time to that of two decades earlier when three cival rights activists were brutally murdered by the Klan. And the author, Willie Morris, contrasting and comparing his life with what he sees around him while following Dupree.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a great personal account that takes you back to 1981 Mississippi, civil rights, and the power of football.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was expecting a good read about the recruitment of a football player, and got that along with a fascinating tale of civil rights in the South. This is on my top 20 list of the best sports books ever written, partly because it's not solely about sports.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Lewis on October 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I recently read "The Courting of Marcus Dupree" and found it to be exciting and spell binding. My entire family was caught up in it. The book is an excellent tale of the birth of a young Black male in a troubling time for the South. The way Willie Morris related Marcus' birth and powerful strength to the struggle of his town and state was awesome, he should be the Mayor of Philadelphia or the Governor of Mississippi. I expected the book to be totally about football but it proved to be much more. It made you laugh and cry at times because of the tremendous pressure on Marcus Dupree, the 17 year old athlete that was blessed with such miraculous skills. The book made you feel like you were at the games when he made some of the beautiful plays. It was so intense that you wanted to get to the next page, but never wanted the book to end. I wish it was reprinted.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By glg448@telepath.com on December 11, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Willie Morris is my hero. His book THE COURTING OF MARCUS DUPREE weaves the history of the civil rights movement into a compelling blow-by-blow description of big time college football recruiting. Aside from his incredible mastery of the English language, that is so vivid that you can smell the leaves on the autumn afternoons at the football practice, he makes startling connections between the past and present in the context of race relations. Willie Morris is my hero because his description of Marcus Dupree's touchdown run in the OU-Nebraska game in Lincoln during Marcus' freshman year is the greatest paragraph in American literature. Willie Morris is my hero because he loves dogs, and makes me want to quit my job, go on the road with my retriever, and write books.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "td2103" on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book again recently and it was better than I remembered. It was so interesting to see how one 17 year old boy could dominate one small town's conversations. I expected this book to be a tale of a high school football star and his recruitment, but I got more, much more. Willie Morris examines the importance of football in Mississippi and how Marcus brought blacks and whites together with his play. He had insight in to Marcus that nobody outside of his family and high school coach could have had. Overall, a great read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura R. Scanlon on February 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is about the South and northern places in the mid 60's-80's. To be sure it is about a gifted black athlete having to survive a white society that wants somehow to be with him in his quest for greatness. Much more than that, this book is about racism at its core, promise, insecurity, and reluctant goodness, and we should hope that Morris's honest and understandable "sorta" autobiographical dissertation on his homeland Mississippi will compel us to take another look at where we are as a society. We should not let Pete, Willie's mid-life dog, be the best of what we can be.
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