Cover for CARROLL: Red Grange and the Rise of Modern Football. Click for larger image

Red Grange and the Rise of Modern Football

Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the North American Society for Sport History Book Award, 1999.

The Galloping Ghost and the creation of the modern superstar athlete

Before the Super Bowl, even before the NFL, there was Red Grange. Catapulted into the public eye in 1924 by scoring four touchdowns in twelve minutes for the University of Illinois, the "Galloping Ghost" went on to a trailblazing career as a professional player, Hollywood idol, and broadcaster. He ranked with Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey in the 1920s as one of the heralded figures in America's "golden age of sport."

Grange's spectacular performance as a college player coincided with football's evolution into a rallying point of university life boosted by post-World War I money, cars, roads, stadiums, and mass media. John Carroll depicts the life and career of the soft-spoken pioneer who helped lift pro football above its reputation as "a dirty little business run by rogues and bargain-basement entrepreneurs." A reluctant folk hero, Grange stood as a symbol of older, rural American values: an unpretentious self-made individual making a mark in a society increasingly controlled by machines, vast corporations, and stifling bureaucracies. His story is an essential element in understanding how football became central in American culture.


"In addition to the hindsighted look into Grange's character, the book also gives us a window into the early days of professional football, and lets us see how far the pro game has come in the past eighty years."--State-Journal-Register

"A special appeal of Carroll's detailed biography is that it can be read on two levels, as a straightforward chronicle of Grange's exploits in sports and entertainment and as a thoughtful inquiry into the origins and meaning of a leading American sports phenomenon. . . .While clarifying the details of Grange's life and debunking some aspects of his career, Carroll still manages to retain the appealing qualities of a gifted football player whose actual exploits delighted thousands of onlookers and captured the imaginations of millions more."--Vernon L. Volpe, Journal of Illinois History

"Sport historians should find this biography a welcome addition to the body of work emerging on the careers of specific athletic figures. Carroll sets the record straight: the record, that is, until now concocted of journalists' anecdotes and Grange's typically sanitized 'as-told-to' autobiography."--Michael Oriard, author of The End of Autumn: Reflections on My Life in Football

"Carroll deals with the many myths surrounding Grange while maintaining his 'larger than life' athletic experiences. After all, Grange will probably be remembered as the most significant collegiate football player of the twentieth century."--Ronald Smith, author of Big-Time Football at Harvard, 1905


John M. Carroll is Regents Professor and Distinguished Faculty Lecturer at Lamar University and the author of Fritz Pollard: Pioneer in Racial Advancement.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/47gqt6wn9780252023842.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Mascot Nation - Cover
Mascot Nation

The Controversy over Native American Representations in Sports

Andrew C. Billings and Jason Edward Black

Sandow the Magnificent - Cover
Sandow the Magnificent

Eugen Sandow and the Beginnings of Bodybuilding

David L. Chapman

The Sport Marriage - Cover
The Sport Marriage

Women Who Make It Work

Steven M. Ortiz

Journal of Sport History - Cover
Journal of Sport History

Edited by Maureen Smith

Preacher - Cover
Preacher

Billy Sunday and Big-Time American Evangelism

Roger A. Bruns

I Wore Babe Ruth's Hat - Cover
I Wore Babe Ruth's Hat

Field Notes from a Life in Sports

David W. Zang

Jesse Owens - Cover
Jesse Owens

An American Life

William J. Baker

Pigskin Nation - Cover
Pigskin Nation

How the NFL Remade American Politics

Jesse Berrett

Kansas City vs. Oakland - Cover
Kansas City vs. Oakland

The Bitter Sports Rivalry That Defined an Era

Matthew C. Ehrlich

Before March Madness - Cover
Before March Madness

The Wars for the Soul of College Basketball

Kurt Edward Kemper

Harry Hooper - Cover
Harry Hooper

An American Baseball Life

Paul J. Zingg

The Gold in the Rings - Cover
The Gold in the Rings

The People and Events That Transformed the Olympic Games

Stephen R. Wenn and Robert K. Barney

Creating the Big Ten - Cover
Creating the Big Ten

Courage, Corruption, and Commercialization

Winton U. Solberg