ROCKNE OF NOTRE DAME: A Biography
by Delos Lovelace:

Synopsis: This is an early and very sympathetic biography of Rockne. In fact, never a discouraging word passes from the author's lips about the coach. He glosses over or ignores any incident in Rockne's life that could throw a negative light on his memory. It also contains factual errors that detract from the book's credibility.

Despite these drawbacks, the book is quite enjoyable to read. He emphasizes Rockne's Norwegian beginnings and uses metaphors that include comparisons to his Viking ancestors, and the similarities between Rock's offensive tactics and the flanking movements of Jeb Stuart's Confederate cavalry.

Lovelace also includes new material that is not reported elsewhere, such as the assertion that Rockne failed a physical exam to enlist in the Navy -- due to a weak heart. Lovelace says that Rockne didn't like corduroy pants on men or facial hair. Lastly, the author claims that Rockne was buried with a small bronze tube bearing a silver engraving of important data from the coach's life, enclosing a parchment scroll inscribed with the handwritten tributes of his fellow coaches.

I enjoyed the book, despite its errors and shortcomings. Lovelace writes in a easygoing style. As Michael Steele writes in his review, "Rockne of Notre Dame is useful reading for what it reveals of the myth-making process."

The author: Delos Lovelace was a newspaperman and novelist, and writer of a biography on General Eisenhower.


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