The Gipper by Jack Cavanaugh
George Gipp, Knute Rockne, and the Dramatic Rise of Notre Dame Football

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Win one for The Gipper. Has there ever been a better-known and widely-used exhortative phrase in sports? Not likely. But who was the “Gipper,” this mythical-like sports figure whose nickname has aroused, in turn, awe, wonderment, curiosity, and amusement since the second decade of the twentieth century, and why is his story important? Answering those questions is the formidable task taken on here by veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh, whose Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of boxing legend Gene Tunney was referred to as “impressively researched and richly detailed” by Sports Illustrated.

More than eight decades after his death, George Gipp is still regarded by football historians as Notre Dame’s best all-around player. And it was Gipp and his legendary coach, Knute Rockne, who were largely responsible for putting the small Midwestern all-male school on the map.

Like Cavanaugh’s other critically acclaimed books, The Gipper is also a period piece, with a considerable focus on the era before, during, and immediately after WWI. It details the changes that the country underwent during that time, including the onset of Prohibition and the gangs that it spawned in the Midwest such as those active in the South Bend area and in nearby Chicago, headed by the notorious Al Capone.

About Jack Cavanaugh

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Jack Cavanaugh is a veteran sportswriter whose work has appeared most notably on the sports pages of The New York Times, for which he has covered hundreds of assignments. He is the author of Giants Among Men (2008) and Tunney (2006), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in biography. In addition, Cavanaugh has been a frequent contributor to Sports Illustrated and has written for Reader’s Digest, Tennis and Golf magazines as well as other national publications. Cavanaugh is currently a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and lives with his wife, Marge, in Wilton, Connecticut.
Published September 10, 2010 by Skyhorse Publishing. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Gipper

Publishers Weekly

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His death in 1920 at the age of 25 (having never completely recovered from the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918) leaves Cavanaugh to fill out his effort with stories of Coach Rockne and Notre Dame's colorful early football days, all placed into the larger context of a country dealing with great trage...

Jan 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gipper: George Gipp, Knut...

New York Journal of Books

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Sure to be on Regis Philbin’s reading list this Fall, as well as on those of the millions of other passionate followers of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, The Gipper: George Gipp, Knute Rockne, and the Dramatic Rise of Notre Dame Football tells the story of how a small, unknown Catho...

Sep 10 2010 | Read Full Review of The Gipper: George Gipp, Knut...

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