Friday, February 6, 2009

The Ten Year War in Context

I'm currently reading War as They Knew It: Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and America in a Time of Unrest by Michael Rosenberg. It's a look at Woody and Bo's Ten Year War filtered through the lens of politics and the cultural upheaval that was taking place on college campuses across the United States during that time.

The book recounts the games between these two coaching icons within the context of changing social attitudes, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the rise of campus activism. It also explores Woody’s long friendship with Richard Nixon, his love of military history, the innovations of University of Michigan athletic director Don Canham, and Ann Arbor’s history of liberal leanings. Rosenberg also uses Woody’s love of the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson to find deeper meaning in events taking place both on and off the field.

War as They Knew It is more than just a football book; it’s a snapshot view of what it was like when the changes America was going through reached the Midwest. And for someone who is fascinated by the era and the Rivalry, this is a great read!

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