Shake Down the Thunder
Now Back in Print!

Shake Down the Thunder

The Creation of Notre Dame Football With an updated preface
Murray Sperber
Distribution: World
Publication date: 7/23/2002
Format: paper 664 pages, 17 b&w photos, 1 bibliog.
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-21568-0
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Description

“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.

Author Bio

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.

Reviews

"A must-read for Fighting Irish fans, their detractors, or anyone interested in American cultural history." —Northern Indiana Lakes

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Indiana Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction

I. "What Though the Odds Be Great or Small": 1789-1918
1. L'Universite de Notre Dame du Lac and the Nineteenth Century
2. The Origins of Notre Dame's Athletic Culture
3. Catholic versus American Higher Education
4. The Origin of "The Notre Dame Victory March"
5. Notre Dame Sports: 1900-1912
6. Jesse Harper: 1913 and the First Army Game
7. Jesse Harper: 1914 and the Finances of College Football
8. Jesse Harper: 1915-1917 and the Job of Athletic Director
9. Jesse Harper's Assistant: Knute Rockne

II. Shaking Down the Thunder: 1918-1931
10. Catholic versus American Higher Education in the 1920s
11. The Growth of the Athletic Culture
12. The Origin of the Fighting Irish Nickname
13. Rockne at Ground Zero: 1918-1919
14. Rockne's Rocket-First Version: 1920
15. George Gipp's Five Seasons at Notre Dame
16. The Rocker Crashes-Rockne's Miraculous Escape: 1921
17. Building a Better Rocket: 1922
18. On the Launch Pad: 1923
19. Notre Dame versus Klandiana: 1924
20. Blast-off: 1924
21. The Four Horsemen-Grantland Rice versus Reality
22. Rockne Threatens to Jump Ship: 1925
23. Anti-aircraft Fire from the Big Ten: 1926
24. Knute K. Rockne Inc.
25. Anti-aircraft Fire from College Sports Reformers: 1927
26. Al Smith and "Win One for the Gipper": 1928
27. Rockne Attacks the College Sports Reformers: 1929
28. Rockne's Last and Greatest Rocket: 1930
29. The Death of Reform and Rockne: 1931

III. "Rally Sons of Notre Dame": 1932-1941
30. In the Depression: 1931-1941
31. After Rockne
32. The Demand for Perfection: 1932
33. The Removal of a Vice President and the First Firing of a Notre Dame Head Coach: 1933
34. O'Hara and Layden Assume Power: 1934-1936
35. O'Hara and Layden in Power: 1937-1939
36. Beginning Knute Rockne-All American: 1939
37. Filming Knute Rockne-All American: 1940
38. The End of the Rockne Era: 1940
39. The End of the Creation of Notre Dame Football: 1941
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index