From the author of the bestselling 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.