Fascinating and thought provoking

If there was ever a book that should be a mainstay in collections strong in Native American history, culture, and issues, or early civil rights efforts, it should be Gridiron Gypsies. The story is about far more than sports, tackling the subject of integration and Native American rights in an era when most would rather have killed than educate them. <more>

The book is truly "ground breaking!" It delves--deeply in most cases--into subjects I've never seen/heard before. Great work!

The cartoons and pictures, etc. add so much to the book--also many unseen by me before.

Jim Campbell

author of

Hell with the Lid Off:

Inside the Fierce Rivalry between the 1970s Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers


...a fascinating, little-known slice of American history with this exhaustive examination of the football team at the Carlisle Indian School, a federally funded Pennsylvania boarding school for Native Americans that opened in 1879…. shocked the nation with its sports teams' athleticism and competitive spirit. Those qualities are exemplified by the football program's most famous alumnus, Jim Thorpe, a two-time All-American at Carlisle.   <more>

Football historian Tom Benjey has written an enjoyable, informative and well-researched book on the history of the Carlisle Indian Football team. Benjey goes into detail about each football season with great enthusiasm. He gives us a snapshot of the men, especially Jim Thorpe, Pete Calac, Joe Guyon and more, while they played for the great Pop Warner. A must-read for all football fans!

Chris Willis

Head Archivist, NFL Films and author of

Walter Lingo, Jim Thorpe, and the Oorang Indians

Highlights of the book include biographical information on Richard Henry Pratt and his belief that American Indians could be acclimated into white society through emersion, education, and athletics. He recognized the Indian's physical advantages, thought to be genetic, of rapid response time, quick reflexes, strength, grit, and a willingness to endure roughness in the violent game of football. Pratt abhorred the brutality and refused to allow cruelty.

This is an incredibly detailed story of one of the most legendary of college football teams, one whose reputation is still strong more than 100 years after its final game was played. Few programs have been covered in such detail. If you are a student of college football, this book is a must for your football library.