Admittedly, there are a lot of biographies and memoirs of our fighting men these days. And while it’s heartening that their stories are being told, it can be hard to decide on what to read. To me, All American stands out for its narrative structure which follows two young military athletes through the arc of their careers. PW agrees, giving it a starred review:
Eubanks… takes a close look at the first Army–Navy football game after 9/11 and two men, Brian Stann, a former linebacker for the Naval Academy, and Chad Jenkins, a former quarterback at West Point , who went to on to serve their country in Iraq. As he explores how each man chose to attend a service academy, where the rigors of playing football at a school where practice can often feel like a respite from the studies, Eubanks creates an engaging narrative worthy of any sports movie. But it is in the book’s second half when the story jumps from interesting to captivating.… Eubanks not only captures the nature of two men who love what they do, but also the pressures that their bodies, psyches, and families endure.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
All American: Two Young Men, the 2001 Army-Navy Game and the War They Fought in Iraq (9780062202802) by Steve Eubanks. $27.99 hardcover. 10/29/13 on sale.