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The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a…
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The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980…

by Wayne Coffey

Other authors: Jim Craig (Foreword)

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I was 9 years old when the Olympics happened but I can still remember it so clearly. Prior to the Olympics, I remember the gas lines, the hostage crisis, the failed rescue attempts. It was a sad time. I remember watching those fresh faced boys carry all our hopes onto the ice and the things that they did.... the things that they accomplished that night was so much more than winning a hockey game. They made an entire country proud to be Americans again.
This book is a book about hockey, but it is also about the men who lived the dream. It was interesting to learn about their lives before the Olympics and where they came from. It was interesting to learn about what happened after. A beautifully written story. ( )
  Laurie.Schultz | Mar 15, 2014 |
The Boys of Winter is a pretty good book for what it is. What it isn't, however, is "The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team." The stories of Herb Brooks have been told before; the stories of the players are known. If you're reading this book, I certainly imagine you know what happened at the 1980 Olympics. There are no big surprises or even especially hard-hitting journalism. No players are interrogated past their comfort level, no dirt is dug up.

This book also does not tell the story of the building of the team, although it is of course mentioned; it is not the written version of the movie Miracle. I had expected it to be that, and was honestly disappointed to not have more - I wanted journalist-checked facts about how the team was built, to check the movie-built myths. There are some tidbits scattered throughout the book, but it isn't written as a narrative of the team's journey.

This book is essentially a biography of each of the players on the team, with an update on how they were when the book was published (as told by them, and those closest to them who would be interviewed). The information is framed by a play-by-play of the action of the game - which was an interesting and fine device, although I would have preferred if Coffey had included what times each play described had happened; it was hard to know how much time had passed between plays described and how much time was left in the period, which is essential to understanding the flow of the game! There is incredibly interesting information if you are a hockey nerd (I was very excited to find out that the Christian on the team was the son of one of the Christian *Brothers*! I toured that plant when I was a kid! We had awesome summer vacations; we also visited the much-discussed-in-book Eveleth Hippodrome, and the Hockey Hall of Fame), but that is what this book is about.

The best parts of this book, to me, were the interviews with and opinions of the Russian players and coach. I had never heard their opinions or perspectives before and I found that incredibly enlightening.

This is a solid read if you are interested in hockey history, but be clear on what it is and what it isn't - I spent half the book waiting for it to be something it wasn't, and liked it more once I figured out what it was. ( )
  g33kgrrl | Apr 5, 2013 |
Wayne Coffey is a published author of children’s books and young adult books. He lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with his wife and three children. He wrote the book The Boys of Winter which was released in 2005. This exciting and fast paced book is based on the 1980 winter Olympics between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. He has written many books including Winning Sounds like This and The Kobe Bryant Story.
This is a non-fiction book that is impossible to be put down. It tells the story of the 1980 winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. It gives you background information on every player on the team. The coach is Herb Brooks who wants to take the Soviets game plan and use it against them. He didn’t pick the best players that tried out; he chose the players he needed. Just as you thought you know what he was going to do next he would change it up. This book is like the book The Game written by Ken Dryden.
I thought this book was a well written novel on the 1980 hockey Winter Olympics. This book was overall a fantastic book. This book focuses on the U.S.A. hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. I would recommend this book to everyone who likes hockey. I give this book an overall rating of 4.5. ( )
  MattSabourin | Jan 23, 2012 |
An excellent story about the amazing 1980 USA men's hockey team. I really enjoyed this book and liked the way the game was used as a backdrop for weaving in all the other stories. ( )
  weejane | Jan 16, 2011 |
Just when you think you know the story inside and out, Wayne Coffey surprises you. This story never gets old, and Coffey's uniquely structured narrative weaves brief endearing biographies of the players with play-by-play action of the USA-Soviet game on February 22, 1980 in Lake Placid, the world's last small-scale Olympics. The story retold in this book catches your heart all over again, and Coffey's dynamic, entertaining, knowledgeable, and endearing style of writing grip the reader from start to finish. He captures the soul of the team and eloquently verbalizes the team's path to success and the reasons behind it. I strongly recommend this timeless account of the ultimate national sporting triumph to, not only hockey fans, but readers of all interests.
  Fuego48 | May 22, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wayne Coffeyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Craig, JimForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140004765X, Hardcover)

Once upon a time, they taught us to believe. They were the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, a blue-collar bunch led by an unconventional coach, and they engineered perhaps the greatest sports moment of the twentieth century. Their “Miracle on Ice” has become a national fairy tale, but the real Cinderella story is even more remarkable. It is a legacy of hope, hard work, and homegrown triumph. It is a chronicle of everyday heroes who just wanted to play hockey happily ever after. It is still unbelievable.

The Boys of Winter is an evocative account of the improbable American adventure in Lake Placid, New York. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews, Wayne Coffey explores the untold stories of the U.S. upstarts, their Soviet opponents, and the forces that brought them together.

Plagued by the Iran hostage crisis, persistent economic woes, and the ongoing Cold War, the United States battled a pervasive sense of gloom in 1980. And then came the Olympics. Traditionally a playground for the Russian hockey juggernaut and its ever-growing collection of gold medals, an Olympic ice rink seemed an unlikely setting for a Cold War upset. The Russians were experienced professional champions, state-reared and state-supported. The Americans were mostly college kids who had their majors and their stipends and their dreams, a squad that coach Herb Brooks had molded into a team in six months. It was men vs. boys, champions vs. amateurs, communism vs. capitalism.

Coffey casts a fresh eye on this seminal sports event in The Boys of Winter, crafting an intimate look at the team and giving readers an ice-level view of the boys who captivated a country. He details the unusual chemistry of the Americans—formulated by a fiercely determined Brooks—and he seamlessly weaves portraits of the players with the fluid, fast-paced action of the 1980 game itself. Coffey also traces the paths of the players and coaches since that time, examining how the events in Lake Placid affected and directed their lives and investigating what happens after one conquers the world.

But Coffey not only reveals the anatomy of an underdog, he probes the shocked disbelief of the unlikely losers and how it felt to be taken down by such an overlooked opponent. After all, the greatest American sports moment of the century was a Russian calamity, perhaps even more unimaginable in Moscow than in Minnesota or Massachusetts. Coffey deftly balances the joyous American saga with the perspective of the astonished silver medalists.

Told with warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, The Boys of Winter is an intimate, perceptive portrayal of one Friday night in Lake Placid and the enduring power of the extraordinary.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Looks back at one of the greatest moments of twentieth-century sports history, the victory of the U.S. hockey team over the Soviet Union, assessing the meaning of the triumph and the paths of the players and coaches on both sides since 1980.

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