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Turning of the Tide: How One Game Changed the South Hardcover – September 1, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Don Yaeger lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931722943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931722940
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert M. Sherwood on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a 'must-read' for anyone with an interest in big-time college football and race relations in the US.

To paraphrase someone in the book, Sam "Bam" Cunningham did more in one football game to accelerate integration in Alabama and the South than the late Rev. King, Jr. did in 25 years.

Hyperbole perhaps but a point worth making.

The only down side to the book is that it isn't really a book.

The author repeated and re-repeated incidents, one surmises, to make it book-length.

That aside, it's a wonderful read.
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Format: Hardcover
I thought that Turning the Tide was a very good book. It was about a game in 1970 featuring USC and Alabama. USC was a fully integrated football team and Alabama consisted of all white players. The Alabama coach, Bear Bryant, beleived in integration, but the school policies wouldn't allow it. When the teams got a chance to choose who they would be playing in the season opener, Bear stratagized. Bryant asked the coach of USC, John McKay, if the fully integrated Trojans would take on the Alabama Tide for their season opener.

When USC dominated the Tide 42-21, all of Alabama realized it was time to get some black players. The person who helped influence this choice was Sam Cunningham. A running back for USC, who ran for more than 100 yards in the game, and was African-American.

Once Alabama was integrated, they had great records in their later years, winning many national championships. This truly showed that the color of a person's skin was not a measure of talent. If a school really wanted to win, they would do whatever was neccessary. Having talented players on your team, black or white, was a great way to do this. Once the South took action and integrated, other schools in the area followed.

This made an impact on football teams everywhere, but it more greatly influenced the world as it is today. It showed all colors could act as equals, even when outsiders conceived blacks as inferior. I guess you could say Sam Cunningham could be grouped with other leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks because they all helped to create racial equality.

Football, as well as any sport, brings people together, no matter their skin color. This book was a story about how totally different people could come together and play as team. It showed the true beginning of integration in football. I really enjoyed this book and I hope you get a chance to read it.
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Format: Hardcover
I finished reading this book nine years ago so my memory of this book's contents is fuzzy. But what I do remember is how this book described the events surrounding the historical 1970 USC vs. Alabama game.

It's sad that it took super deep into the 20th Century for Alabama and many other Dixie state college football teams to integrate their football teams.

It took a Black-laden USC running back corps (which helped lead the Trojans to a 42-21 whipping of Alabama in that 1970 game) to help force the Dixie states college football teams to say, "You know what? Having some Blacks on our team aint so bad."

That statement may sound funny, but to ambitious and talented Black football players in the early to mid 20th Century, there was NOTHING funny about that statement.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of my FAVORITE Bama Football books! I think I have read any and all written in the time frame even CLOSE to my lifetime, as well as my Grandfathers collection of Bama Books and Dad's. We are a 5th generation Bama Graduate family, and I was the first to letter and be a scholar shipped athlete in our family:). Don Yeager (author) has written a LOT of very good/great ALabama stories, and SEC stories, like Blind Side backstory of Mike Oher's REAL story. That's one of the best, if not the #1 VERY best and favorite books I've read in my life!

It clarifies any conflicts and inconsistancies that came up in Blind Side vs the Tuohy's book/story.
Michaels book (by him and Yeager)s a MUST READ, IMHO, and should be a textbook for all teens and kids of any background. Truly inspiring!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the most important events in the civil rights struggle struggle that most people just do not know about. Two great college football coaches did more to promote integration than Congress ever did.
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Well written book on a great subject. We learn from history and this book takes us beyond football. Bear Bryant and John McKay were not only oustanding coaches but realized they have a moral obligation to help others at the same time helping themselves. I have read books on both men and of course they weren't perfect but they did grab the reins to make a difference. None of us is perect but some times we can make a difference.

It was important that it was Sam Cunningham who made it happen.

He is a leader who understands what is important. He and the others help make life better for all of us.

I will share this book with my grandsons so they can understand that it is important to bring others with you on your advantures to success.

The book covered an amazing amount of stories about how sports and athletes can make a difference. Great reading.

I have heard many myths about the game and they were interesting but now an important story has been told by some of those who lives it.
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