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Shake down the thunder : the creation of Notre Dame football

Author: Murray A Sperber
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 1993.
Edition/Format:   Book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Beginning with the humble origins of the Notre Dame football program in the nineteenth century, Shake Down the Thunder traces the evolution of the team to its status as a preeminent football power - winning national championships and attracting huge crowds to its games from coast to coast. In the process, Notre Dame has been hailed as the paragon of college football, and its history has gained almost mythical  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Murray A Sperber
ISBN: 0805018743 9780805018745
OCLC Number: 28548350
Description: xxii, 634 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: I. "What Though the Odds Be Great or Small": 1789-1918. 1. L'Universite de Notre Dame du Lac and the Nineteenth Century. 2. The Origins of Notre Dame's Athletic Culture. 3. Catholic versus American Higher Education. 4. The Origin of "The Notre Dame Victory March" 5. Notre Dame Sports: 1900-1912. 6. Jesse Harper: 1913 and the First Army Game. 7. Jesse Harper: 1914 and the Finances of College Football. 8. Jesse Harper: 1915-1917 and the Job of Athletic Director. 9. Jesse Harper's Assistant: Knute Rockne --
II. Shaking Down the Thunder: 1918-1931. 10. Catholic versus American Higher Education in the 1920s. 11. The Growth of the Athletic Culture. 12. The Origin of the "Fighting Irish" Nickname. 13. Rockne at Ground Zero: 1918-1919. 14. Rockne's Rocket --
First Version: 1920. 15. George Gipp's Five Seasons at Notre Dame. 16. The Rocket Crashes --
Rockne's Miraculous Escape: 1921. 17. Building a Better Rocket: 1922. 18. On the Launch Pad: 1923. 19. Notre Dame versus Klandiana: 1924. 20. Blast-off: 1924. 21. The Four Horsemen --
Grantland Rice versus Reality. 22. Rockne Threatens to Jump Ship: 1925. 23. Anti-aircraft Fire from the Big Ten: 1926. 24. Knute K. Rockne Inc. 25. Anti-aircraft Fire from the College Sports Reformers: 1927. 26. Al Smith and "Win One for the Gipper": 1928. 27. Rockne Attacks the College Sports Reformers: 1929. 28. Rockne's Last and Greatest Rocket: 1930. 29. The Death of Reform and Rockne: 1931 --
III. "Rally Sons of Notre Dame": 1932-1941. 30. In the Depression: 1931-1941. 31. After Rockne in 1931. 32. The Demand for Perfection: 1932. 33. The Removal of a Vice President and the First Firing of a Notre Dame Head Coach: 1933. 34. O'Hara and Layden Assume Power: 1934-1936. 35. O'Hara and Layden in Power: 1937-1939. 36. Beginning Knute Rockne --
All American: 1939. 37. Filming Knute Rockne --
All American: 1940. 38. The End of the Rockne Era: 1940. 39. The End of the Creation of Notre Dame Football: 1941
Responsibility: Murray Sperber.

Abstract:

Beginning with the humble origins of the Notre Dame football program in the nineteenth century, Shake Down the Thunder traces the evolution of the team to its status as a preeminent football power - winning national championships and attracting huge crowds to its games from coast to coast. In the process, Notre Dame has been hailed as the paragon of college football, and its history has gained almost mythical proportions. This is the true story of what happened during its formative years, the reality behind the myths. In writing Shake Down the Thunder, author Murray Sperber had what no other writer about Notre Dame has ever had: the use of Knute Rockne's voluminous private correspondence, which sat unopened in the university library's basement since his death. Drawing on these letters and other extraordinary archival materials, Sperber fully explores the Notre Dame sports tradition, including the background of its most famed victories and the darker side of its past. Sperber reveals the mixed stories that make up the institution's history - stories of both its unflagging devotion to high standards and its coaches' less respectable deal-making and entrepreneurial ventures. Chronicling Notre Dame's struggle as a Catholic institution in an era of rabid anti-Catholicism, this account of the rise of a college football team also reflects the changes in the country's social fabric and shows how Notre Dame's power reached beyond the field to elevate the status of Catholics in America. Shake Down the Thunder introduces the real personalities behind Notre Dame's icons, illuminating individuals such as Jesse Harper, George Gipp, Father John O'Hara, Elmer Layden, Frank Leahy, and Grantland Rice, but at the heart of the book is the greatest mythic figure of them all: Knute Rockne. A national celebrity first as a player and then as a coach, Rockne established the direction of the football program in a university struggling to maintain its academic identity, and truly made the team what it is today. Sperber exposes the startling profits Rockne personally reaped from the business of college sports, the origins of the fabled Four Horsemen, and the rightful author of the "Win One for the Gipper" speech. Both social history and sports history, this book documents as never before the first half-century of Notre Dame football and relates it to the rise of big-time intercollegiate athletics, the college sports reform movement, and the corrupt sporting press of the period. Shake Down the Thunder is must reading for all Fighting Irish fans, their detractors, and any reader engaged by American cultural history.

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Linked Data


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schema:description"Beginning with the humble origins of the Notre Dame football program in the nineteenth century, Shake Down the Thunder traces the evolution of the team to its status as a preeminent football power - winning national championships and attracting huge crowds to its games from coast to coast. In the process, Notre Dame has been hailed as the paragon of college football, and its history has gained almost mythical proportions. This is the true story of what happened during its formative years, the reality behind the myths. In writing Shake Down the Thunder, author Murray Sperber had what no other writer about Notre Dame has ever had: the use of Knute Rockne's voluminous private correspondence, which sat unopened in the university library's basement since his death. Drawing on these letters and other extraordinary archival materials, Sperber fully explores the Notre Dame sports tradition, including the background of its most famed victories and the darker side of its past. Sperber reveals the mixed stories that make up the institution's history - stories of both its unflagging devotion to high standards and its coaches' less respectable deal-making and entrepreneurial ventures. Chronicling Notre Dame's struggle as a Catholic institution in an era of rabid anti-Catholicism, this account of the rise of a college football team also reflects the changes in the country's social fabric and shows how Notre Dame's power reached beyond the field to elevate the status of Catholics in America. Shake Down the Thunder introduces the real personalities behind Notre Dame's icons, illuminating individuals such as Jesse Harper, George Gipp, Father John O'Hara, Elmer Layden, Frank Leahy, and Grantland Rice, but at the heart of the book is the greatest mythic figure of them all: Knute Rockne. A national celebrity first as a player and then as a coach, Rockne established the direction of the football program in a university struggling to maintain its academic identity, and truly made the team what it is today. Sperber exposes the startling profits Rockne personally reaped from the business of college sports, the origins of the fabled Four Horsemen, and the rightful author of the "Win One for the Gipper" speech. Both social history and sports history, this book documents as never before the first half-century of Notre Dame football and relates it to the rise of big-time intercollegiate athletics, the college sports reform movement, and the corrupt sporting press of the period. Shake Down the Thunder is must reading for all Fighting Irish fans, their detractors, and any reader engaged by American cultural history."@en
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