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Gridiron Gauntlet: The Story of the Men Who Integrated Pro Football, In Their Own Words Hardcover – October 16, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; 1 edition (October 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589794427
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589794429
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,609,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Gridiron Gauntlet is a captivating reprise of lived history, an engaging, highly informative sojourn through the post-World War II reintegration of professional football as experienced and recalled by the sport's "second wave" of black players, the men whose sometimes ignored, mostly forgotten contributions and sacrifices were critical to the evolution of the game we see today. (Harry Edwards, professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley)

...[H]umorous, disturbing, angry, sad, and uplifting. An involving and essential read for anyone interested in football. (Library Journal)

Vivid and fresh, this is a terrific addition to the secret history of sports we all need to know if we want to understand today's players and games. (Robert Lipsyte, American sports journalist, ESPN Ombudsman, and author of An Accidental Sportswriter)

An excellent and worthy contribution to sports history shelves, Gridiron Gauntlet is highly recommended. (Midwest Book Review)

Gridiron Gauntlet is a worthy addition to the scholarship on race in American sport. Because every word comes from the participants, the work, while serious, has the informality of a living room conversation with an accomplished and gregarious family member. (Bay State Banner, (Boston))

…[A] great addition to any sports lover’s bookshelf and a valuable contribution to the civil rights history of pro football. (Jane LaTour Public Employee Press)

Through firsthand accounts of the men who shaped their times, Gridiron Gauntlet provides fresh insight into an important era of sports history. An era that despite being too often overlooked, proved crucial to the making of the modern NFL. (Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era)

...a book anyone who truly claims to be a fan of the early NFL needs to read.... Trust me, you won’t want to put it down. (Baltimore Ravens blog at Footballdiaries.com)

Anyone interested in history and sports should read this book. While diversity is a common sight on fields nowadays, it’s important to know and understand how that came to be. (Thebookjournal.Com)

...Piascik presents a living history, taking an engaging, informative sojourn through a critical, sometimes-forgotten, and often-ignored part of the evolution of today's NFL. Well written and thoroughly researched, this book will serve anyone interested in sports studies, sports history, and sociology. Recommended. (CHOICE)

Thanks to Gridiron Gauntlet, the stories of these 12 individuals have been preserved as a reminder that things were not always as they are today. There was racism, exclusion and prejudice in the 40's and 50's, but these men paved the way for future generations of football players, and they should not be forgotten. (WorldofFootball.com)

About the Author

Andy Piascik is an award-winning author whose articles have appeared in Z Magazine, The Indypendent, Jump Cut, and many other publications. For his book The Best Show in Football: The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns, Pro Football's Greatest Dynasty (also published by Taylor Trade Publishing), he received the Professional Football Researchers Association's Nelson Ross Award. He is a member of the National Writers Union.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Goetz on May 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Definitely an interesting read and I love how it's all done by interviews, so it's first-person and through the eyes of the participants themselves. It goes beyond football and into life itself and I'm impressed by the overall articulateness of these men as well as by their maturity and perspectives.

However--and this is a big however--there needed to be photographs to link the players with a face. If the idea is to personify the struggles of those who integrated pro football, placing a few photos, not connected with names, on the cover and none near the chapter headings or anywhere else in the text doesn't do it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christian Willis on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This oral history book of some of the early players who re-integrated the National Football League is well worth the read. The interview subjects put you right into the huddle and on the sidelines. If you enjoy reading about professional football or early sports history then this is a book for you. Highly recommended. Chris W.
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By The Pampered Lamb on February 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Very well written.

Today, we tend to forget the people that made such historical achievements. In this book we follow some African American football players that played in a time where it wasn't popular to do so ('45-'55). Not only does it describe the superficial dilemma they had to endure, but the mental, emotional and physical ones as well. There are no holds barred in this recounting of these trailblazing heroes. The players re-tell their experiences with death threats and outright racism thrown their way every day while they were simply trying to do something they love.

Anyone interested in history and sports should read this book. While diversity is a common sight on fields now-adays, it's important to know and understand how that came to be.
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