4 out of 4 stars
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The Stolen Dream by John Devaney takes an in-depth look at Men’s Australian Football. The book provides highlights from the 1951 through 1986 seasons. It provides statistics from matches and information about specific players that made significant contributions during the various seasons. For example, 1967 is described as a remarkable year for the Victorian Football League. Aggregate attendance was 472,000 which was surprising because that is the year that Channel 0 started its live coverage. This type of interesting detail is provided repeatedly in the book.
In addition to the details of specific players and matches, the author addressed the change in team organizations. Initially, the teams were developed by various state controlling bodied and the Australian Football Council. When it was organized in this manner, each team included its own unique traditions and culture. When the Victorian Football League took over the development and oversight of the Australian football teams, teams were created without regard to the prior unique traditions.
The author’s knowledge about the game and its history is impressive. Each chapter is devoted to a single year with unique facts regarding players and significant matches during that year. Mr. Devaney has done a considerable amount of research into the history of Men’s Australian Football. He includes photographs of significant players or matches in each of the chapters. This added to my enjoyment of the book. It was helpful to see a photo of the person being described in the chapter.
I enjoyed reading this book because I was not familiar with Australian football and it was interesting to read about the players and matches. It was also fascinating to read about the matches that took place as early as 1951 to see how the game has changed over the years. The book serves as a reference book for anyone interested in Australian Football. If a reader is interested in a specific year or player, it can be easily located due to the organization of the book by year.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Australian football or who would like to learn more about the topic. I saw some minor typographical errors that did not take away from my enjoyment of the book. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars due to the significant amount of research conducted by the author and the organization of the book by year that makes it easy to read and to use as a reference book. It also provides a Name and Subject Index to search by player name or team which is helpful.
The Stolen Dream
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