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Publisher's Summary

In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the 1942 Rose Bowl was moved from Pasadena to Durham, North Carolina, out of fear of Japanese attacks on the West Coast. It remains the only Rose Bowl game to ever be played outside of Pasadena. Duke University, led by legendary coach Wallace Wade Sr., faced off against underdog Oregon State College, with both teams preparing for a grueling fight on the football field while their thoughts wandered to the battlefields they would soon be on.

As the players and coaches prepared for the game, America was preparing for war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met to discuss the Allied strategy in Europe, a discussion that would change the lives of the boys and men on the field in Durham. Finally, on New Year's Day 1942, under dark gray skies and occasional rain, the two teams clashed on the gridiron in front of a crowd of 56,000, playing one of the most unforgettable games in history. Shortly afterward, many of the players and coaches entered the military and would quickly become brothers on the battlefield. Scattered around the globe, the lives of Rose Bowl participants would intersect in surprising ways as they served in Iwo Jima and Normandy, Guadalcanal, and the Battle of the Bulge.

©2016 Brian Curtis (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A fine sports book with a stirring extra dimension." ( Kirkus)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Totally Didn't Expect to Like This Book - Great!

What made the experience of listening to Fields of Battle the most enjoyable?

My husband and I listened to this as we were driving to New Orleans to visit the WWII Museum. It was a good overview of the war, told in a very interesting way. We even found a picture of Jack Yoshihara in the museum. Jack was supposed to play in the Rose Bowl in 1942, but was not able to due to travel restrictions for Japanese Americans.

What about Roger Wayne’s performance did you like?

Easy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Contained many interesting facts I was not aware of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Hebern
  • Clinton, NC, United States
  • 08-28-18

A good, not great book

This one is about the 1942 Rose Bowl game hosted by Duke. Being from North Carolina I had always heard about the Rose Bowl that was held in our state, but never knew any of the details. This book does fill in the blanks on that. It then follows the participants, many of whom went from the football field to fields of war in WWII shortly after the game. It's a good, not great book. It was worth listening to for the details on Wallace Wade. I had no idea what a coaching giant he was. He won 3 National Titles at Alabama before coming to Duke including the year before he left Alabama! He was basically Bear Bryant before Bear. He then left Duke and served in WWII in his 50's because he felt it was his duty. Actually if the whole book had been on Wade it would have been a better book. He was obviously a very impressive man in addition to being a great football coach.