Shake Down the Thunder: The Creation of Notre Dame Football

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Indiana University Press, 1993 - Education - 634 pages
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"Sperber...tackles the details, great and small, unearthing a treasure." --New York Times Book Review

Shake Down the Thunder traces the history of the Notre Dame football program--which has acquired almost mythical proportions--from its humble origins in the 19th century to its status as the paragon of college sports. It presents the true story of the program's formative years, the reality behind the myths. Both social history and sports history, this book documents as never before the first half-century of Notre Dame football and relates it to the rise of big-time intercollegiate athletics, the college sports reform movement, and the corrupt sporting press of the period. Shake Down the Thunder is must reading for all Fighting Irish fans, their detractors, and any reader engaged by American cultural history.

  

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Contents

LUniversite de Notre Dame du Lac and the Nineteenth Century
3
The Origins of Notre Dames Athletic Culture
9
Catholic versus American Higher Education
15
The Origin of The Notre Dame Victory March
21
Notre Dame Sports 19001912
27
Jesse Harper 1913 and the First Army Game
37
Jesse Harper 1914 and the Finances of College Football
43
Jesse Harper 19151917 and the Job of Athletic Director
49
Antiaircraft Fire from the Big Ten 1926
207
Knute K Rockne Inc
223
Antiaircraft Fire from the College Sports Reformers 1927
241
Al Smith and Win One for the Gipper 1928
273
Rockne Attacks the College Sports Reformers 1929
296
Rocknes Last and Greatest Rocket 1930
323
The Death of Reform and Rockne 1931
347
Rally Sons of Notre Dame 19321941
363

Jesse Harpers Assistant Knute Rockne
56
Shaking Down the Thunder 19181931
65
Catholic versus American Higher Education in the 1920s
67
The Growth of the Athletic Culture
71
The Origin of the Fighting Irish Nickname
79
Rockne at Ground Zero 19181919
84
Rocknes Rocket First Version 1920
98
George Gipps Five Seasons at Notre Dame
105
The Rocket Crashes Rocknes Miraculous Escape 1921
114
Building a Better Rocket 1922
127
On the Launch Pad 1923
138
Notre Dame versus Klandiana 1924
157
Blastoff 1924
163
The Four Horsemen Grantland Rice versus Reality
173
Rockne Threatens to Jump Ship 1925
183
In the Depression 19311941
365
After Rockne in 1931
371
The Demand for Perfection 1932
388
The Removal of a Vice President and the First Firing of a Notre Dame Head Coach 1933
399
OHara and Layden Assume Power 19341936
419
OHara and Layden in Power 19371939
444
Beginning Knute Rockne All American 1939
464
Filming Knute Rockne All American 1940
473
The End of the Rockne Era 1940
484
The End of the Creation of Notre Dame Football 1941
495
Epilogue
499
Notes
503
Bibliography
613
Index
619
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Murray Sperber is Professor of English and American Studies at Indiana University and author of Beer and Circuses: How Big-Time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education.

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