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Hockey: A People's History [Paperback]

Michael McKinley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 45.00
Price: CDN$ 28.22 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: CDN$ 16.78 (37%)
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Book Description

Oct. 27 2009
Now in paperback, updated with a new final chapter!

Lavishly illustrated, beautifully designed, impeccably researched, and wonderfully written, Hockey: A People’s History is the altogether irresistible companion book to the CBC-Television series of the same name, airing in Fall 06. A must-have for every fan!

Hockey is not just Canada’s national game, it is part of every Canadian’s psyche, whether we like it or not. Watching it, playing it, coaching it, and talking about it are up there with eating on the list of the top ten things Canadians do most. In the first half of the last century it mirrored our increasing confidence as a nation and in the last years of the 1900s, which saw an aggressive but unsettling expansion of the game south of the border, it reflected our growing wariness of American influence on Canada.

Hockey: A People’s History, like the ten-part CBC series it accompanies, tells the story of this breathtakingly fast game from its hotly contested origins, and the surge in its popularity after 1875, when it was first taken inside, through the rise and fall and rise again of women’s hockey, the sagas of long-lost leagues, such as the Pacific Coast Hockey League and, more recently, the World Hockey Association, to the present day and the first-ever lockout of players by the one remaining league. In that time, while play has changed only slightly (every generation of Canadians has complained about the growing violence of the game) hockey itself has been transformed from a rough and ready winter sport to a business worth many billions of dollars, played by millionaires.

But Hockey: A People’s History is not a business story, rather, it is the story of the men and woman who helped make the game what it is today.

It also tells the story of all the great moments in hockey: not just the unforgettable 1972 victory against Russia, but victories no less glorious at the time, such as the Leafs’ previously unheard-of third consecutive Stanley Cup in 1949. Through its lavishly illustrated pages skate the players, the coaches, the owners, many of them still legendary, too many of them almost forgotten. They are the reason why Canadians have stayed true to the game.

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From Booklist

*Starred Review* McKinley's history of the "fast, rough, beautiful game" comprehensively chronicles hockey from its genesis as a winter substitute for lacrosse. A companion to a similarly titled CBC TV series, the lavishly illustrated book combines punchy boxed features celebrating individuals and hockey oddments and a detailed tracing of the game's development. Among the tidbits one learns: the New York Rangers' name derives from a pun (their first owner was Tex Rickard, making them "Tex's Rangers"), women introduced the goalie mask (at various times, they employed a baseball catcher's mask and a fencing cage) decades before Ken Dryden became an inspiration to Friday the 13th's Jason, and women's professional hockey dates back nearly as far as men's but disappeared after the 1940s. Of course, McKinley returns frequently to hockey's hallowed rivalry: the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Montreal Canadiens. Only the Yankees versus the Red Sox yarn can compare to that of the Francophone-beloved Canadiens and mercurial Conn Smythe's scheming to make the Leafs their outranking Anglo analogue. Bouts of hand-wringing over the way American money threatens hockey's Canadian identity punctuate the continuum as McKinley gives all the franchises and all the stars, from Cyclone Taylor to Maurice "Rocket" Richard to Wayne Gretzky, their due. Essential for general sports as well as hockey-intensive collections. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Sharply illustrated, solidly written . . . McKinley captures each era in fine, consistently entertaining detail.”
Georgia Straight

“There is much to be learned in these gorgeously illustrated pages … It’s a winner.”
The Edmonton Journal

“Hockey’s definitive history.”
— Montreal Gazette

“An indispensable, superbly written look into hockey’s glorious, storied past.”
Edmonton Journal

“One of the most comprehensive and attractive books ever presented about Canada’s national pastime.”
Canadian Book Review Annual


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy Sept. 26 2006
Format:Hardcover
I thought I knew everything about hockey. Wrong. This book is full of interesting little known facts and pulls together the history so you can understand the evolution of the game. Even makes it intellectually respectable in the way baseball's always been. Writing is energetic and opinionated and a pleasure to read. Thought this one would sit on the coffee table but in fact actually read it cover to cover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hockey: A People's History March 14 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very informative pile of history, History of Hockey in Canada. How it got started, pictures included. Found the book with good detail in its title and sections of the book.
When it all began, when they try to acquire some kind of prize to the winning team, when playing the finals. The Stanley Cup rings a bell, many teams have formed, and with original six teams when they started. very informative in deed, I enjoy it very much, also have the DVD set that accompanies the book very nicely. Thank you for the opportunity to make this review of my purchase. A great Purchase, A Great Book!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Canadians and Americans unite! Dec 11 2006
Format:Hardcover
I've found this to be a hugely popular gift in the States--I am in New York. Yes, it's a people's history of two nations--Canada claims the game as part of its national identity, rightly so. But the USA figures prominently in a story that's more than an account of a game, but a history of the continent. Ken Burns would love this book. Does he skate?"
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