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The Game: Harvard, Yale, and America in 1968

Narrated by: George Newbern
Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the best-selling National Book Award finalist The Big House comes a story in the tradition of The Boys in the Boat about an unforgettable group of young athletes who battled in the legendary Harvard-Yale football game of 1968 amidst the sweeping currents of one of the most transformative years in American history. 

On November 23, 1968, near the end of a turbulent and memorable year, there was a football game that would also prove turbulent and memorable: the season-ending clash between Harvard and Yale. Both teams entered undefeated and, technically at least, came out undefeated. The final score was 29-29. 

To some of the players on the field, it was a triumph; to others a tragedy. And to many, the reasons had as much to do with one side’s miraculous comeback in the game’s final 42 seconds as it did with the months that preceded it, months that witnessed the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, police brutality at the Democratic National Convention, inner-city riots, campus takeovers, and, looming over everything, the war in Vietnam. 

George Howe Colt’s The Game is the story of that iconic American year, as seen through the young men who lived it and were changed by it. One player had recently returned from eight months under fire in Vietnam. Two were members of the radical antiwar group SDS. There was an all-American football hero whose nickname was “God”. There was one NFL prospect who quit to devote his time to black altruism, another who went on to be Pro-Bowler Calvin Hill. There was a postal clerk’s son who worried about fitting in with the preppies, and a wealthy WASP eager to prove he could handle the blue-collar kids’ hits. There was a guard named Tommy Lee Jones, and fullback who dated a young Meryl Streep. They came from every class and background, but played side by side and together forged a moment of startling grace in the midst of the storm. 

Vivid, lively, and constantly surprising, this magnificent and intimate work of history is the story of ordinary people in an extraordinary time, and of a country facing issues that we continue to wrestle with to this day.   

©2018 George Howe Colt (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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  • Hebern
  • Clinton, NC, United States
  • 11-05-18

More than a game

This was a very good sports book. Technically it is about one Harvard-Yale game in 1968, but it is about much more than that. It is about America in 1968. It is about the divisions in the country over the Vietnam War. It is about the changes in the two Universities. Yale had yet to admit females, but had changed its admission policies to be based on the academic records instead of their family background. This was a change that drew widespread criticism from the alums! And the students really wanted girls on campus, too! It is about the struggle of the black players to fit in at both universities and not be seen as just football players. It is about the struggle of one older player to fit in at very anti-war Harvard after serving in Vietnam. It is about the history of the Harvard-Yale series. Both teams won national titles in the early 20th century and were still very good football programs in 1968. In fact, Yale was ranked in the top 20 at the time of the 1968 game. It is about the players, who were an impressive and diverse group, including an undersized OL for Harvard named Tommy Lee Jones, who roomed with a kid named Al Gore. But, it was also about the most exciting tie in the history of college football. Both teams came into the season finale undefeated, but Yale was a huge favorite. Yale dominated the game as expected and lead by 16 with 42 seconds left. Just enough time for the remarkable Harvard comeback that provoked the headline the next day: Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. The book is very well written and the audio was also superbly read. I really enjoyed it. #SportsHistory #Nostalgic #1960s #IvyLeagueAthletes #NewEngland #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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Very Good

Having been born in 1968, this book struck a real cord with me. The 68 Harvard Yale Game was another of the remarkable, seminole, and historical events of that year that truly altered history.

Perhaps because I am now nearly 51 and reflecting so much more on life and legacy, this story makes me long for what was or at least seemed like a more real and innocent time.

I would recommend this book to anybody but especially those over 45.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful