MINNEAPOLIS — Our #Sunrisers Book Club title is "From the Gridiron to the Battlefield: Minnesota's March to a College Football Title and into World War II" by KARE11 Reporter Danny Spewak. He follows the remarkable story of the 1941 Golden Gophers as World War II drew closer.
Spewak also tells about the sacrifices the athletes made as the team had a perfect record just 15 days before the strike on Pearl Harbor. Some remained stateside while others set sail and saw direct combat.
Gia Vang: How Danny found time to write this book while working full-time and covering some of the biggest stories of our city and state is beyond me. But it is here for all history fans, as Danny links the team's incredible year to what was happening in American politics.
Ever the reporter, Danny thoroughly researched what feels like every detail of the games that season, to the point where you feel like you were there. But he also carefully crafts the storyline about the golden season, around the mood happening in the Twin Cities at the time as war was looming.
It is a dense read, but not overwhelmingly long. For history lovers who enjoy a little sports cross over, this book is for you!
Jennifer Austin: The detail in this book is remarkable. Danny notes even seemingly minor facts, like the time of the sunset in the Twin Cities on the day Charles Lindbergh gave an anti-war speech in Minneapolis, which bring life in 1941 alive for the reader.
Those details, including quotes found in old newspapers, help seamlessly weave a story of the parallel between the Gopher's 1941 season and the lead up to World War II. I found it fascinating.
I do not think you have to be a sports fan (I am not) to value this book. For any lover of history, this book is one for your shelf.