cover image The Game: Harvard, Yale, and America in 1968

The Game: Harvard, Yale, and America in 1968

George Howe Colt. Scribner, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5011-0478-7

Chronicling one of college football’s most tumultuous games during one of America’s most turbulent years, Colt brings together sports and history in profound fashion. A Harvard grad who attended football games in the 1960s (including this one) with his alumnus father, Colt gives the story an intimate feel as he covers a wide swath of topics beyond Harvard Stadium, the Yale Bowl, and the two undefeated football teams that met in “the Game” on the last day of the ’68 season. Colt demonstrates the changing nature of these historic universities as well as the country in general by interweaving such topics as civil rights, religious freedom, class struggle, white privilege, and the Vietnam War with anecdotes of players from the game who are African-American, Jewish, poor, rich, military veterans, or conscientious objectors. The result gives the heavy political and social discourse a personal touch. By humanizing the players, the accounts of each team’s amazing season and the four-chapter recap of their final, unbelievable game are elevated above entertaining sports reporting to thoughtful, emotional storytelling. This excellent history illustrates sport’s powerful role in American society. [em]Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Oct.) [/em]