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Grads Are Playing Tonight! (The)
The Story of the Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Club
M. Ann Hall
Foreword Terry Jones
Between 1915 and 1940 the amazing Edmonton Grads dominated women’s basketball in Canada. Coached by J. Percy Page, they played over 400 official games, losing only 20; they travelled more than 125,000 miles in Canada, the United States, and Europe; and they crossed the Atlantic three times to defend their world title at exhibition games held in conjunction with the Summer Olympics in Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Meticulously researched and documented—including capsule biographies of all 38 women who played for the Grads over the years and over 100 photos—the story of the Edmonton Grads will enthrall fans of sport history and women in sport. [CTV interview: http://tinyurl.com/6pxg5aq]
Format:  Trade Paperback
ISBN:  978-0-88864-602-6
Price:  CND$ 29.95, USD$ 29.95, £ 24.99
Discount:  Trade
Subject:  Sports History/Women in Sports/Edmonton
Publication Date:  December 2011
Awards
2012 Book Publishers Association of Alberta
Alberta Book Awards, Trade Non-Fiction Book Award
2012 ForeWord Magazine
ForeWord Book of the Year Award, Honourable Mention
Reviews
"As might be expected from the pioneering author M. Ann Hall, this is an important book that will provide the template for the collective biography of many sports teams across a variety of codes.... The seminal achievement of this book is to give the individual Grads faces and voices. Although often based on secondary, family sources, we begin to see where sport fitted into their lives as young women. Just as importantly, we find out what happened to many of them once they ceased to play.... [T]he use of official photographs and snapshots; game programmes; player memorabilia and other artefacts as integral to the history of the team is what lifts this book above so many.... The Grads Are Playing Tonight! is an inspiring challenge to those of us who want to understand both elite sport and its broader participatory culture.”
Jean Williams, Sport in History, November 2013
"Ann Hall’s latest contribution to the cannon of sports history is a well-written all encompassing examination of the legacy of the Edmonton Commercial Graduates basketball team. The Edmonton Commercial Graduates team (the “Grads”) maintains the most outstanding winning record in the history of basketball.... Hall’s thoughtful examination is extensive in scope, eloquently bringing together primary and secondary resources to provide a masterful collection of statistics, oral histories, photographs, commentaries, and newspaper accounts. Her account is the first book to provide an in-depth examination of the importance of the Edmonton Commercial Graduates basketball team across several domains of study: sports history, the sport of basketball, women’s sport history and sport organization/administration.... This book would be a welcome addition to both the avid sport history scholar and the general population. Hall’s writing, explorations, and explanations are highly accessible across disciplines and to those wishing to simply learn more about this outstanding basketball team.”
Christiane Job, Sport History Review 2012
[The Grads Are Playing Tonight!] is the first comprehensive book about the club. In an extensively researched, accessible, yet detailed read, Hall reveals new insights into the team, the organization, the coach (J. Percy Page), and the lives of the players.... Hall also effectively places the story of the Grads organization within the history of basketball in North America and Europe, discussing the debates over gender-based rules, social and medical opinion during the 1920s and 1930s about the appropriate uses of women’s bodies, and the international stage of women’s sport during this period... The Grads Are Playing Tonight! is an important and long-awaited contribution to women’s sport history scholarship.”
Carly Adams, Great Plains Quarterly, Fall 2012
"Reading “The Grads Are Playing Tonight!" was a nostalgic experience for me.... M. Ann Hall's book is exactly how I remember the Grads: full of grit, enthusiastic about life, inspiring and proud. And they should be. The Grads were not simply amazing basketball players. They were transformative women of their time... They played in front of the largest sporting crowds of their time. Hall is a sportswriter, so her writing style is compelling, and she provides plenty of details on the team.”
Tracey Peter, Herizons, Fall 2012
"Imagine that a Canadian sports team won ninety-six per cent of all the games it ever played — over the course of twenty-five years; that it sawed through its competition, going undefeated as it captured four consecutive Olympic championships; that it was named the best to ever play its sport, by the sport’s inventor, no less. Wouldn’t that team be an icon in Canada? Well, there is such a squad, but, unfortunately, the team is virtually unknown outside its native Alberta. I’m talking about the Edmonton Grads — a women’s basketball team that dominated the sport between 1915 and 1940. Fortunately, M. Ann Hall has set out to cure our collective national amnesia with her new book, The Grads are Playing Tonight!... Hopefully, Hall’s book will help spread the story across Canada.”
Mark Reid, Canada's History Magazine, June-July 2012
#7 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week of June 24, 2012.
"Almost like a fairytale, this hard-to-believe story about an almost-invincible female basketball team and their committed coach, J. Percy Page (later Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta), comes alive in the pages of The Grads are Playing Tonight! Well-written and engaging throughout its ten chapters, the book focuses on not only the adventurous tales of the Grads, but also of Edmonton coming into its own as an important city in Western Canada. In this feel-good book there is something for everyone--sports fans, history buffs, feminists, educators, scholars, politicians, and readers who dare to dream the impossible. A story within many stories, The Grads are Playing Tonight! reaffirms a city is more than a place on the map--it is the people who live there and make it home. The Grads are Playing Tonight! will continue to play itself out in readers' heads long after they shut its covers.”
Jury comments, Trade Non-Fiction Book Award, BPAA.
# 6 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week on April 23, 2012
Hall's fine book brings the Grads to life - fierce competitors who played with joyful élan. The book is also a compelling portrait of the rough-and-tumble prairie city whose civic pride was awakened by the Grads' exploits. Bruce Ward, Ottawa Citizen, February 19, 2012
"When a team wins 95% of its games, it earns a certain place in sports history. "The Grads are Playing Tonight! The Story of the Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Club" discusses the domination by the Edmonton Grads for a quarter century under the guidance of J. Percy Page. Not only winning championships, they traveled the world to continue their domination. "The Grads are Playing Tonight!" is a strongly recommended pick...”
Wisconsin Bookwatch, February 2012
# 2 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week on February 26, 2012
# 2 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week on February 05, 2012
"Three years before they were given the right to vote in Canada, a team of female basketball players in Edmonton started a 25-year journey of world-wide fame and victory, proving that women certainly had the mental and physical capacity to do more than stay prim and proper.”
Rebecca Medel, The Gateway, January 18, 2012 [Full article at http://thegatewayonline.ca/article/view/grads_basketball]
"Over the years, the feats of the amazing Grads faded from memory. Few remember a team once heralded for many years as world champions.... The wonderful new book by Ms. Hall, emeritus professor at the University of Alberta, provides an informative and richly detailed account of the women who were sports pioneers. It is authoritative and deserving of a wide readership.”
Tom Hawthorn, The Globe and Mail, January 29, 2012 [Full article at http://bit.ly/Aj34Al]
"…the team which holds the most victories in the history of North American sport. The Edmonton Grads were a women's basketball team that held North America's attention for 25 years as the team challenged preconceptions about gender and sport. Samantha Powers, VUE Weekly, January 19-25, 2012
# 1 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week on January 08, 2012

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