Carlisle vs. Army by Lars Anderson is a very unique book. It builds up the story of the November, 9, 1912 collegiate football game where the Army Cadets played against a federally funded Indian Assimilation school, Carlisle. The book transforms the reader through time to reach the significance of the game. The author focuses the beginning of the book to the late 19th century history of Native Americans fighting against the United States Armed forces. Lars Anderson then starts to focus on his first character Glenn “Pop” Warner. The reader then proceeds to read a shortened bibliography on the man up until he becomes the coach of the Carlisle football team. After that Lars Anderson introduces two new characters, Dwight Eisenhower and Jim Thorpe. He constantly and confusingly flashes between the two characters. At first it is chapter by chapter, but as the game of Carlisle vs. Army gets closer, he narrows down to switching by paragraphs. Often times the author repeats his meaning over and over again but with different words in different sentences. He then gives a rather fast description of the game he spent so much time building up. Word to the wise the result of the game was a suspenseful let down.
I feel like the book totally over-hyped its name. If the author had chosen a different name like broadening the Military and Native American rivalry rather than focusing on a specific game, then it would have fit the book a lot better. The only real way this book connects to me is by way of sports. The book talks of the dedication and commitment it takes to play a sport, which is agreeable. The ideal audience for this book would have to be someone fascinated by the history aspect of the book not the football aspect. Although the evolution of football is intriguing throughout the book, it did not fulfill what the title leads a reader to suspect. This was a large let-down as the reader and I would not recommend the book to someone who is not a huge fan over history.