Showdown: JFK and the Integration of the Washington Redskins and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$12.09
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: The Cover, Binder and Pages are in great condition. There is light wear to the Cover
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Showdown: JFK and the Integration of the Washington Redskins Hardcover – September 6, 2011


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$15.70 $0.20

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807000744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807000748
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This excellent book will become a welcome addition to either your sports or American history library. The author paints a painful tale but one that has a very heartening ending.”—American Chronicle 

“A sports and environmental histo­rian, Smith skillfully follows two nar­ratives—the founding and growth of the Redskins franchise and the move to integrate pro football—until they collide in 1961, producing the book’s climax.”—The Sunday News

“In the end, Showdown, which is thoroughly researched…does a fine job of filling in this bleak episode on our cultural history…”—The New York Review of Books 

“Smith brings out all the little footnotes that get left on history's doorstep in Showdown…It's a fascinating read.”—New York Amsterdam News

“Smith’s book is well researched and full of colorful detail...it tells an underappreciated story of social change.”—Boston Globe
 
“Smith does a great job of outlining the history of Marshall and the Redskins as well as the civil rights movement in the sports world…paints a broad picture that allows the reader to learn the background of the major players and the social climate at the time…An interesting read for those looking to learn more about the early history of football and civil rights in sports.”—RealClearSports.com 

“Thomas Smith relies on years of research and clear-eyed prose as he depicts a regrettable time when George Preston Marshall’s all-white Washington Redskins stubbornly refused to use African-American players. In a fascinating narrative, the indefatigable Marshall is an aging football lion surprised to find himself backed into a corner by the gathering forces of a new era.”—John Eisenberg, author of That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory
 
“Much has been written about the Boston Red Sox as MLB’s final hold-out against racial integration, but comparatively little has been written about their NFL analog—the stubbornly intransigent Washington Redskins. A well-researched and much needed exploration, Showdown captures a racially discriminatory moment in sports history that should no longer be ignored.”—N. Jeremi Duru, author of Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL
 
Showdown is a poignant and powerful work, a gripping story that will be of interest to anyone wanting to see beyond the hoopla of professional athletics and to understand the turf war that went on in the hallowed sanctum of professional football to eradicate Jim Crow and the color line. Smith’s book should be mandatory reading for all NFL players, owners, and fans.”—Donald Spivey, author of Fire From The Soul: A History of the African-American Struggle  

“Richly detailed and impeccably researched, Smith recounts a significant yet relatively unknown episode in the social history of sport. Included in this riveting story is a cast of some of the biggest names in sports and politics of the era—from JFK to Jackie Robinson. Showdown is a classic gridiron tale for history junkies and avid sports fans alike.”—Phillip Hoose, National Book Award winner, author of Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice and Hoosiers
 
“Smith has written a thoughtful and engaging book that details the racial integration of one of professional football’s most storied franchises. With great insight and passion, he explains how African American athletes finally cracked the color barrier to play for the Washington Redskins amid the turmoil of the civil rights movement and the nation’s quest for equality on and off the playing field.”—David K. Wiggins, author of Glory Bound: Black Athletes in a White America

About the Author

Thomas G. Smith is a member of the history program at Nichols College, where he serves as the Robert Stansky Distinguished Professor. A sports and environmental historian, he is the author of two books, Independent: A Biography of Lewis Douglas (with Bob Browder) and Green Republican: John Saylor and the Preservation of America’s Wilderness. He lives in Dudley, Massachusetts, and is a fervent fan of the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Dodgers.

More About the Author

Thomas G. Smith is a member of the history program at Nichols College, where he serves as the Robert Stansky Distinguished Professor. A sports and environmental historian, he is the author of two books, Independent: A Biography of Lewis Douglas (with Bob Browder) and Green Republican: John Saylor and the Preservation of America's Wilderness. He lives in Dudley, Massachusetts, and is a fervent fan of the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy Moursund on February 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Showdown" serves as a good introductory history of the Washington Redskins' first quarter century, but the actual "showdown" referred to in the subtitle ("JFK And The Integration Of The Washington Redskins") takes up but three chapters of the book, and JFK himself was a peripheral figure to George Preston Marshall's most powerful opponent, the Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall.

That said, Smith does present what amounts to an excellent mini-biography of Marshall, tracing his rise from owner of a laundry chain to one of the great pioneers of promotion that the sporting world has ever seen. He also gives a running account of the efforts of black sportswriters and activists (with a few white supporters) to put pressure on first the NFL as a whole, and then the Redskins in particular, to integrate their sport. It's a tale that's been better told by other writers, but by focusing on the Redskins Smith has written a book that will be of special interest to fans of the Burgundy and Gold. He pulls no punches in describing Marshall as the racist that he was, and concludes by making an interesting (and largely valid) comparison to baseball's Ty Cobb---giants in their respective sporting fields, but unloved by their contemporaries and virtually friendless on their deathbeds. Think of Marshall as being a combination of Bill Veeck's promotional wizardry along with Tom Yawkey's racist pigheadness, and you've got a pretty good summary of his legacy. It's a decidedly mixed bag.

One quibble: This book was in strong need of an editor. Minor factual mistakes are spread throughout, the chronology is off on several occasions, and the footnotes are impossible to connect to the text. You read a statement and wonder what it refers to, but when you look for the citation, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Three stars out of five is about right for this one.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Badger75 on September 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Professor Thomas Smith is a good story teller. He handles large amounts of material well. The history of the Washington Redskins and it's founder George Preston Marshall is a fascinating piece of 20th century sports history. The book is an interesting read for anyone who enjoys 20th century history. How the JFK administration came to play a pivotal role in putting a stop to one of the last vestiges of sports segregation is worth it. His account of NFL history and the personalities that made the league is well organized. Some facts and details are misstated but don't detract from the story. A well documented bibliography is a bonus.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frank Gentry on January 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read. Political, social, & football history combine to create a unique dynamic at a critical juncture in US history! Compelling book! Wonderfully written.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By rbng on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great! One of the multitude reasons that JFK was murdered. Pride can get you in trouble. I never knew what an owner of a pro football team could be so selfish. to put petty racist reasons above a winning product.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?