NE Oregon Arts

Book Group

A Gathering Place for the Arts in Wallowa County

“The Real All Americans, The Team that Changed a Game, a People, a Nation,”
by Sally Jenkins


Cheryl Coughlan and Rich Wandschneider have been talking about a book reading group related to our library holdings, that is, related to the Nez Perce, to Alvin Josephy and Indian and Western History in general.

Rich was leaning hard toward Thunder in the Mountains, the dual biography of General Howard and Chief Joseph, but thought that we might start with a faster read–and one that again puts Indians into our national history while teasing us with the story of football.

The book is “The Real All Americans, The Team that Changed a Game, a People, a Nation,” by Sally Jenkins. Before getting to Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Football team, the book describes the end of the Indian wars in the West and the beginnings of the boarding school system, two historically transformative events for Indian people, and I believe for all Americans.



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Monday December 2, 7 p.m. Read the first 95 pages ahead of time if you can. We’ll talk about those wars, Colonel Pratt, and the beginnings of the boarding schools.

Monday, December 9, 7 p.m. We’ll do the second third of the book and talk about Carlisle, Pratt, and Pop Warner, the early architect of American football.

Monday December 167 p.m. It will be Jim Thorpe and Army vs. the Indians–a 1912 event not too far removed from those last Indian wars. We’ll also talk about a first attempt to tame a brutal sport, (it might not have been as snazzy then, but if Jenkins is right, it was every bit as brutal.)