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Resurrection: The Miracle Season That Saved Notre Dame Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 1, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ara Parseghian, Notre Dame's first "outsider" coach-non-Catholic, not a Notre Dame alum-turned around a failing football tradition when he joined the university in 1963. To capture the way it was and communicate the sense of immense anticipation that greeted the young, driven coach, author and journalist Dent (The Junction Boys), an avid fan, researched past programs led by the legendary Knute Rockne and others, a strategy that sets the stage for his nail-biting saga, but makes for a choppy first quarter. Once he settles into the season, Dent does a masterful job recreating games without ever forgetting the human details; for example, Parseghian's fierce integrity drove him to get rid of a remarkably promising player: "I hated to let a player like Dave go...but I could see the players walking a little taller. They knew that we were serious as we could be about turning the team around." Dent's characters take on the dimensions of true and winning people; by the time the where-are-the-now epilogue rolls around, readers will consider them something like old friends. 8 pages color photos.
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Praise for Jim Dent and Resurrection

“Dent interviewed Parseghian as well as many of the surviving players and painstakingly researched the newspaper and national press coverage the team received during its Phoenix-like resurrection. The genuinely engaging game accounts—usually momentum killers in sports books—are peppered with specific player memories that add urgency and excitement…we have an inspirational underdog saga, humor, pathos, tragedy, and triumph.” –Booklist

“Dent does a masterful job recreating games without ever forgetting the human details…Dent's characters take on the dimensions of true and winning people; by the time the where-are-they-now epilogue rolls around, readers will consider them something like old friends.” –Publishers Weekly


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312567219
  • ASIN: B003STCQL6
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,745,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Dent is a New York Times bestselling author who has written nine books.
His latest, "Courage Beyond The Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story,'' was selected as one of the best nonfiction books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews. It was also named one of the top eight biographies of the year. The book focuses on the life of Freddie Steinmark, who started nineteen straight winning games at the University of Texas and was an All-Southwest Conference performer on the 1969 national championship team. He played that year with an excruciatingly painful osteosarcoma in his left thighbone. Still, Steinmark left the field only once in the final regular season game against Arkansas. Texas defeated Arkansas 15-14 in the "Game Of The Century'' and went on to defeat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. Steinmark's story has been compared to "Brian's Song'' and is expected to reach the big screen in 2012. Another one of Dent's bestselling books, "Twelve Mighty Orphans,'' is also slated for movie theaters before the end of the year. For more information on Dent, check out Facebook, along with his "Courage Beyond The Game'' page that includes two video documentaries on Steinmark's life. You might also want to read "The Junction Boys,'' that was adapted into an ESPN movie in 2002. Dent is currently working on his tenth book, along with producing the movie on Steinmark.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Struggling Irish of Notre Dame closed out their disastrous 1963 season with a 2-7 record after losing to Syracuse at Yankee Stadium. Could things get any worse in the post-Leahy era? Fortunately, the Fighting Irish experienced a "Resurrection" in 1964 following the hiring of Ara Parseghian as head football coach.

Jim Dent does a masterful job of setting the scene with his account of the demise of the Notre Dame football program. His character development focuses on a group of lesser known players and follows them through their introduction to Ara and unexpected success in 1964. More familiar players (e.g. Huarte, Snow, Page and Lynch) appear throughout, but the amazing part of this story is in how Ara and his coaches were able to craft a plan and execute it with a group of players that had been totally demoralized by the previous regimes.

The controversial close of the 1964 season (at USC, of course) deepens the bond of friendship and teamwork in the underclassmen that manifests itself in a National Championship two years later. So much has been written about Notre Dame's championship seasons. This book is unique since it digs deep into how a program can be completely turned around (perhaps a blueprint for 2009?).

Dent's writing structure flows smoothly with generous use of direct quotes from team members. His game accounts are intensified by the personal struggles of the main characters. This book is a must-read for any fan of college football. It will also be enjoyed by anyone interested in how purpose-driven leadership can instill excellence in a group of young men.
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Format: Hardcover
If you love college football, you'll find this a great read -- and if you love Notre Dame, too, you'll be in heaven. The detailed and well researched story of how Ara developed as a coach and ended up at Notre Dame is terrific football history, as is the full story of the ugly ineptitude that was the ND football program just prior to his arrival. I'm an ND fan, but was only a toddler when all this was happening in the early 60's, so it was quite an eye-opener for me. There was so much I didn't know, including the fact that John Huarte won the Heisman trophy before receiving his first Monogram Award (varsity letter). Amazing! The triumphant comeback story of the '64 Irish is filled with heart-warming human interest stories and inspiration -- not the least of which is the recounting of how Ara came in and restored a sense of fairness and dignity, along with strategic and tactical excellence. I've met a handful of men who played for Ara and have always been awed by their deep love for and steadfast loyalty to him. Now I understand why. The book also touches on his later work fundraising to find a cure for Niemann-Pick disease (which claimed the lives of 3 of his son Michael's 4 children). There's much to be admired in Ara Parseghian, and Jim Dent does a beautiful job of documenting a true gentleman and the hugely successful turnaround he engineered at Notre Dame.
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Format: Hardcover
Jim Dent's "Resurrection" will obviously appeal to any and all Notre Dame football fans. But I would recommend this book for all readers, from casual football fans to those who couldn't tell a pigskin from a frying pan. Dent brilliantly weaves the personal stories of Nick Rassas, Tony Carey, John Huarte and others into the fabric of Notre Dame's 1964 season, doing so with an unassuming and personal touch that appeals on a variety of levels.

Dent sets the stage for the 1964 season not only by giving a brief history of Notre Dame football up to that point (no small task indeed), but also by examining the unique stories of the players, coaches, and administrators prior to that fabled season. These stories cause the reader to identify with the players, to feel their frustration during the Kuharich years, and to feel everything slowly begin to turn with the new regime.

Equally as impressive, Dent presents a deeper look into Parseghian, beyond simply the coach's on-field successes. Dent follows Parseghian from Northwestern to Notre Dame, and shows a glimpse of Parseghian's amazement at the players he finds at Notre Dame, and also the priceless interactions between Parseghian and his assistant coaches. Dent is able to truly capture the cultural change that occurred at Notre Dame in 1964, and does so using personal stories and perspectives that engage the reader and create a sense of ownership in the story.

Ultimately, this book is an excellent behind-the-scenes account of a group of players, coaches and people, who truly brought out the best in each other. While this manifested itself on the football field in "Resurrection", I think this story would resonate with anyone, regardless of your football inclinations.
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Format: Hardcover
Send a volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky!
What though the odds be great or small,
Old Notre Dame will win over all,
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to victory!

Love them or loathe them, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame represent the game and history of college football unlike any other university. In the 1920s and '30s, the Knute Rockne-coached Irish were the dominant team on the nation's sports pages. The legendary Four Horsemen became household names, and Notre Dame played to packed stadiums from Los Angeles to New York City. Ten years after Rockne's death, Frank Leahy took command of the program, and the football juggernaut remained a national powerhouse.

Success, however, can yield unintended consequences. Rockne and Leahy became more powerful than Notre Dame itself. The school, longing for recognition as an academic institution, was instead viewed as a football factory. In the 1940s Notre Dame President Father John Cavanaugh and athletic chairman Father Theodore Hesburgh commenced a campaign to rein in the football program. Scholarships were reduced, and in 1953, Leahy was relieved of his head coaching duties for health reasons. The next decade would find Notre Dame football on a downward spiral that brought the program to the brink of collapse.

RESURRECTION chronicles the 1964 football season that returned Notre Dame to national prominence. Author Jim Dent, whose college football histories include THE JUNCTION BOYS and THE UNDEFEATED, has written a compelling and fascinating history of coaches and players who wanted nothing more than an opportunity to show the football world that they could rise to the quality long expected of a football powerhouse.
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