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A Civil War: Army Vs. Navy a Year Inside College Football's Purest Rivalry Paperback – November 1, 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fans of Yale-Harvard--or, for that matter, of Tennessee State-Grambling--may disagree with sports author John Feinstein's subtitle, but this look inside the Cadet-Midshipmen wars backs up the idea of the annual Army-Navy game as a purer expression of the ideal of college athletics than your basic Poulan Weed-Eater Bowl. Feinstein focuses on the defensive captains from each 1995 squad, young men whose football careers end with the final gun of the big game. In a year when the service academies are enjoying their biggest gridiron success in many seasons, Feinstein's ruminations on the game seem particularly timely. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Although neither Army nor Navy is a college football power anymore, their annual rivalry still attracts national attention, and the game between the two service academies is the most important contest for both schools every season. In chronicling the 1995 game (the 96th meeting between the two teams), Feinstein (A Good Walk Spoiled) provides readers with a comprehensive backdrop to the game by recounting the events leading up to Army vs. Navy. Given almost unlimited access to the players and coaches, Feinstein does a superb job of capturing the emotional and physical impact the long season has on the team members of both sides, while also giving a taste of what life is like at Annapolis and West Point. Feinstein focuses his story by concentrating on a number of players at the two schools, providing brief backgrounds and their reasons for attending the academies. Among the players featured are Army's Jim Cantelupe and the offensive linemen nicknamed "The Fat Men," as well as Navy's Andrew Thompson and Chris McCoy. Providing an extra touch of drama is the fact that 1995 was the last year of Army coach Bob Sutton's contract, and his future at the school would be determined by the Cadets' performance in the Navy game. It is to Feinstein's credit that, although the outcome is already in the history books, he builds a sense of excitement and anticipation throughout the book about what would happen in the contest. (Army won.)
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; 1St Edition edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316278246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316278249
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This will be very short. I am a 49 year-old, female, English teacher with NO interest in sports! I began this book because there was nothing else to read. After the first few pages I was completely taken in. I could not put it down. Yes, it was about football, but it was more a study in determination, in the hopes of youth, in the foolishness of old men and in heartbreak. Friends and relatives were constantly surprised that I was not only reading this book, but enjoying it so much! Couch potatoes, get a work-out without leaving your chair! Read this book!
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a story of selfish, maladjusted, spoiled, law-bending athletes... this isn't it. No Lawrence Philips or Peter Warwicks here. No chest-thumping, trash-talking, pampered delinquents. No BCS hype, big-time budgets, or recruiting violations. Feinstein reveals dedicated young men -- many of whom are overachievers -- who accept sport in its broader context. While not perfect, we read the story of young men dedicated to an end that is greater than the sum of its parts. I will never watch Army, Navy (and, yes, Air Force) play again without honoring in my thoughts what these young men give day in and day out. Every high school and college athlete should read this book. Beyond football's "purest rivalry," Army-Navy is football (sport) like it ought to be.
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By A Customer on October 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a former Division I-AA player who played against Army, I was always in awe of the effort the Cadets gave, leaving everything they had on the field. I could not put this book down. It explains the inner workings of the service academies, not just in a football context, and the incredible hardships players at these schools must endure just to get on the field. This book has inspired me to rethink many of my philosophies on hard work and perseverence, because compared to these guys, most of us have it easy.
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Format: Hardcover
This book does justice to one of America's best rivalries in sport. I grew up a short distance from West Point, but I had lost interest Army sports and the Army/Navy game...until reading this. It is amazing the way Feinstein makes you feel as if you are close friends and teammates with the players. He brings the players to life and THAT is what makes sports so engaging. I found myself rooting madly for both teams. This book makes you realize how wonderful college sports can be. It shows you the hard work and dedication that go into playing them, especially at the academies. I repeatedly found myself thinking, THIS is what college football is supposed to be. The love of the game, the love of teammates, the passion for competition. It is all here and it is all very well told. Even if you don't love sports you will be caught up in drama of Army/Navy. You can bet I will be watching the game this fall!
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Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I will never miss another Army-Navy game. The book gave me a great appreciation for the kids who play in these games, the rivalry and all the tradition that goes with it. It's filled with great stories that give you a good look at what it's like to be a student at one of these acadamies, and to play for these football teams. These are not a bunch of pampered jocks who are going to school so they can go play at the next level. The schools are not in the sports business to make a lot of money. This is what college sports should be: No grades or money under the table, no BCS nonsense, no scandals, no agents. Next time you pick up the sports section of a newspaper and read about another player who's been arrested for rape, assault or whatever, put down the paper and pick up this book. No matter how you feel about West Point or the Naval Academy now, you'll gain a lot of respect for the institutions and especially for the kids who go there.
I picked up the book, thinking it would be a history of the rivalry, but instead found that it looks at one season, ending with the Army-Navy game at the end of that season. Of course, you get a little bit of the history of the game, but the closer look at this one contest is much more interesting.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a magnificant journey through the 1995 season with 2 of the most prestigious football programs in the country. We get a first hand view of what it is like to go to a military school first of all, but to also play football while at that military school. We also get a glimpse of what it was like when the 2 programs were in their hayday and people actually wanted to play at these schools. There was once a time where they dominated and all of the great players went to the military academies. Today, with high salaries and mandatory service, it is unlikely for an all american to attend one of these schools. The cadets know that the end of their football career comes with the end of their college schooling, and that makes the losses hurt that much more. Follow the players through their push through the season against some of the nation's powerhouses. You won't be sorry.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to understand a big part of the midshipman/cadet experience, you need to understand the A/N football game and Feinstein does a great job explaining it. As he tells you about two teams of dedicated athletes who play for the love of the game and the pride of their school, with little hope of going on in the athletic world, he also goes into the traditions of two great schools and the bond that the men and women there have with each other and their schools. My daughter Lisa, a '94 midshipman, is mentioned in the book and would have been proud to read it. I don't usually like to read about football; I prefer to watch it. However, not only was this book an exception, it was also one of the best books about the Army/Navy experience that I've ever read.
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