football historians have heaped heavy praise on Stagg vs. Yost: The Birth of Cutthroat Football, just weeks before the book goes on sale.
"This book is a masterpiece," writes Greg Dooley, proprietor of the blog MVictors.com and one of the leading authorities on Wolverine football's rich history. "Through his meticulous research, (John) Kryk deftly weaves the tale of this remarkable drama that played out at the dawn of the 20th century, much of it unknown until now. By tying together private correspondence with news accounts of the day, Kryk cuts through the façade of purity and reveals the Machiavellian maneuvering of these two iconic coaches and their alumni supporters.
"Stagg vs. Yost also provides a fascinating look at football at the start of the 20th century, a period that gave birth to the unwieldy modern football behemoth and the wild popularity that the sport enjoys today. Particularly striking is Kryk’s exposure of Stagg, a man associated with the idealism of amateur competition and whose name alone adorns the Big Ten championship trophy.
"Stagg vs. Yost is a brilliant follow-up to Natural Enemies and Kryk once again raises the bar for college football historians."
Craig Ross, author of two Michigan football books (The Oscene Diaries of a Michigan Fan, and The Search for the Unified Field Theory [Football Version]), writes that Stagg vs. Yost "ranks with my favorites in the genre.
"The writing is as clean as the history is rich and heretofore un-mined. Kryk’s genius is that he makes events 115 years in the past feel like last week. I read the book over a couple of days and then, lamenting that it ended, read it again. I can’t recommend it highly enough."
The book goes on sale soon in both electronic and hardcover forms. It can be advance-ordered, here.