The Gilder Lehrman Institute’s weekly program Book Breaks features the most exciting history scholars in America discussing their books with host Gena Oppenheim live, followed by a Q&A with home audiences.
Join us online on Sunday, November 13 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT) with Buzz Bissinger as he discusses his book The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, college football was at the height of its popularity. As the United States geared up for total war, one branch of the service dominated the aspirations of college football stars: the United States Marine Corps. Which is why, on Christmas Eve of 1944, when the 4th and 29th Marine regiments found themselves in the middle of the Pacific Ocean training for what would be the bloodiest battle of the war—the invasion of Okinawa—their ranks included one of the greatest pools of football talent ever assembled. When the trash-talking over who had the better football team reached a fever pitch, it was decided: The two regiments would play each other in a football game as close to the real thing as you could get in the dirt and coral of Guadalcanal. The bruising and bloody game that followed became known as “The Mosquito Bowl.”
Buzz Bissinger is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller 3 Nights in August and Friday Night Lights, which has sold two million copies and inspired a film and a TV franchise.
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