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Publisher's Summary

If you'd guess that Yale or Harvard ruled the college gridiron in 1911 and 1912, you'd be wrong. The most popular team belonged to an institution called the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Its story begins with Lt. Col. Richard Henry Pratt, a fierce abolitionist who believed that Native Americans deserved a place in American society. In 1879, Pratt made a treacherous journey to the Dakota Territory to recruit Carlisle's first students.

Years later, three students approached Pratt with the notion of forming a football team. Pratt liked the idea, and in less than 20 years the Carlisle football team was defeating their Ivy League opponents and in the process changing the way the game was played.

The Real All Americans is about the end of a culture and the birth of a game that has thrilled Americans for generations. It is an inspiring reminder of the extraordinary things that can be achieved when we set aside our differences and embrace a common purpose.

©2007 Sally Jenkins (P)2007 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"The most fascinating piece of sports history ever written!" (Lance Armstrong) "This is historical sports-writing at its finest. Populated with all-stars like Jim Thorpe and Dwight Eisenhower but also with many captivating lesser-knowns, The Real All Americans brings a single historic game to life on the page, and in doing so captures a brutal clash of cultures still raw from the frontier. Sally Jenkins' stirring narrative belongs on a shelf with Seabiscuit and The Greatest Game Ever Played". (Hampton Sides)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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brain candy

if you love football, or American history, or are interested in native issues or want to broaden your understanding of the historical tension with American Indians, or all of it together, this book will satisfy while entertain.

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great story of more than just football!

well told story about the thorny issue of native americans in a white man's world around the turn of the 20th century. its full of familiat names from football history and their stories.

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Surprises upon surprises!

This weaves two wonderful stories together. There is the poignant tale of the dissolution of Native American Indian culture at the end of the nineteenth century. And there is the remarkable story of how the modern game of American Football developed during this same period of history. I had no idea how closely these stories were intertwined. Filled with remarkable strong characters and vivid detail and read beautifully you are transported back to a fascinating time in American history where you can almost smell the sweat, mud, and blood from the battlefield and football field.

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I hoped that I would have liked it more.

Would you try another book from Sally Jenkins and/or Don Leslie?

I don't think I would.

Has The Real All Americans turned you off from other books in this genre?

I don't think so.

What aspect of Don Leslie’s performance would you have changed?

It was read like a text book.

Could you see The Real All Americans being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No.

Any additional comments?

It jumped all over and between people and historical events and the transitions were not smooth.
I felt as though I was being read a text book.

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HBO should make a series out of this

Great storytelling of a forgotten piece of history. So many conflicts, so much striving for resolution. A truly great listen.

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  • Jaye
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 07-09-12

Enthralling Story!

I loved the story, it was good to see the historical aspect of Carlisle and hear some positive aspects of the facility.