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Barca begins his vibrant look into Notre Dame's 1988 season with Lou Holtz, who took over after the Fighting Irish after suffering four inglorious years under Gerry Faust. Everyone was hungering for a return to glory, including Holtz, a winner who preached repetition and toughness: I'm here to win football games for the University of Notre Dame, Holtz told his players at one point. Not some of our games and not most of our games; I'm here to win all of our games. In season three, everything came together—a process that veteran sports journalist Barca (a 1999 Notre Dame graduate) covers with gusto. In talking to the key figures of that championship team—including Holtz, defensive coordinator Barry Alvarez, and many players—Barca reveals the players' emotional mind-set and the lure of Notre Dame (the latter sometimes gets lost in the football program's powerhouse trappings). In short, Barca celebrates the fun of college, while stripping Notre Dame football of its rah-rah mysticism. 16-page color photograph insert. Agent: Scott Gould, RLR Literary. (Aug.)
The Notre Dame football program has an unparalleled history, except lately. But the school’s gridiron success in 2012 resuscitated Fighting Irish Nation. Given the renewed national interest, what better time to relive the exploits of the last Notre Dame team to win a national title, the 1988 Irish under Lou Holtz? Journalist Barca conducted dozens of first-person interviews with players, coaches, and administrators involved with the 1988 season, including 11 with star quarterback Tony Rice. Naturally, there are profiles of key players and coaches, and miniportraits of lesser characters in the drama. The game accounts are dramatic and detailed, and delivered with a sense of urgency. College sports, though, are dominated by the coaches, and the 1988 Irish were no exception. Holtz had taken over a program in disarray in 1986. By the time he resigned in 1996, he had the 1988 championship, as well as narrow misses in ’89 and ’93. He was a motivator and disciplinarian, but in person he was slight and spoke with a slight lisp—the antithesis of the blustery egomaniacs who rule college football. The resurgent interest in Notre Dame football should spur demand. --Wes LukowskySee all Editorial Reviews
This is a fantastic book. Jerry Barca has done an incredible job bringing the 1988 Notre Dame Championship Season to life. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Conor B. Dugan
I went to Notre Dame, and thus love ND football. If you were a fan back in 1988 (or even if you're a more recent Fighting Irish afficianado), this book is a must read. Read morePublished 10 months ago by MJZ
We love the Irish and loved the book. It brought back many great memories.Published 13 months ago by Kristine Mowery
I enjoyed "Unbeatable" very much. It's a fun fast read and Barca is a good story teller. I recommend it.Published 15 months ago by Mark Warren
Must Read for all! Highly recommend this book for all ages, regardless if you are a Notre Dame fan or not, it is truly a great book and Tony Rice is amazing!Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was purchased as a gift for my husband. It was new, as described, and he has read it and said it was a great book.Published 18 months ago by Histo
Must read for any ND football fan.
Some good nuggets and tidbits that aren't necessarily well known or common knowledge.