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Carlisle vs Army

Posted on

Carlisle vs. Army

Current Status:
In Season
Lars Anderson
Random House
Sports, Nonfiction

We gave it a B-

Just 22 years after the U.S. Army’s massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee, the football field became a symbolic battlefield when Jim Thorpe and his Carlisle Indians squared off against West Point. The clash was stuffed with historical footnotes: Thorpe had just won two gold medals at the 1912 Olympics; the Cadets’ squad was led by Dwight Eisenhower. But like most contemporary sports historians, Lars Anderson is handicapped in Carlisle vs Army by the rampant mythologizing that characterized sportswriting 100 years ago. He deftly tries to fill the unknowable gaps with biographical detours on Pop Warner, Omar Bradley, Douglas MacArthur, and even Wild Bill Hickok, but Thorpe remains as elusive in history as he was on the open field. B-