Island Cup by James Sullivan
Two Teams, Twelve Miles of Ocean, and Fifty Years of Football Rivalry

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...there is much to relish in this blood-and-salt tale of gridiron rivalry.
-WSJ online


To most of us "wash-ashores," the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are resort destinations, summer homes for the Kennedys, the Obamas, and--yes--Bill Belichick. But the year-rounders see a different picture.

After the tourists and jetsetters leave, the cold weather descends, and the local shop owners, carpenters, and fishermen ready themselves for the main event: high school football. For over fifty years, the local teams been locked in a fierce rivalry. They play for pride, a trophy, and very often, a shot at the league championship. Despite their tiny populations, both islands are dangerous on the football field.

In this far-reaching book, James Sullivan tells the story not only of the Whaler-Vineyarder rivalry, but of two places without a country. Filled with empty houses nine months of the year, Nantucket and the Vineyard have long, unique histories that include such oddities as an attempt to secede from the U.S., and the invention of a proprietary sign language. Delving into the rich history of both places, Sullivan paints a picture of a bygone New England, a place that has never stopped fighting for its life--and for the rights to coveted Island Cup.

About James Sullivan

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James Sullivan is the author of Seven Dirty Words, The Hardest Working Man, and Jeans. He has written extensively for the Boston Globe, and previously served as a feature writer and culture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. He has spent considerable time, including his honeymoon, on the islands.
Published July 17, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA. 304 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
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WSJ online

Reviewed by Tony Horwitz on Jul 13 2012

...there is much to relish in this blood-and-salt tale of gridiron rivalry.

Read Full Review of Island Cup: Two Teams, Twelve... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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