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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting read
This is my last book review of 2013 and is up there as one of the best I have read all year.

Malcolm Knox is a fine writer and this detailed look at the 1948 'Invincibles' from Australia, who visited these shores under Donald Bradman, reads like the most exciting of novels. They were a fine side, though the austerity of post-war England and the ongoing issues...
Published 7 months ago by Peakfan

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alternative look at Bradman and The Invincibles
Malcolm Knox knocks some of the gloss off the Bradman legend , but as journalists are apt to do he tends to shoehorn too many of the man's words and actions into fitting his thesis that Bradman was always looking to revenge long held grudges and that the 'spirit of cricket' for him was just about winning. Fascinating to read about the other characters involved in the 1948...
Published 12 months ago by Geoffrey Thompson


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting read, 22 Dec 2013
This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
This is my last book review of 2013 and is up there as one of the best I have read all year.

Malcolm Knox is a fine writer and this detailed look at the 1948 'Invincibles' from Australia, who visited these shores under Donald Bradman, reads like the most exciting of novels. They were a fine side, though the austerity of post-war England and the ongoing issues with rationing meant that they were fitter and stronger than the sides they faced. Many of the county sides featured players from the pre-war era, most of them too old and too slow for the powerful physical specimens who confronted them. Younger players were very inexperienced and it was a one-sided contest.

The cricket authorities played into their hands as well, agreeing to a new ball every 65 overs that meant their key pace bowling spearheads, Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller, could lead the attack, come back for another burst then have the advantage of a hard new ball after tea. While the side had good spinners, they became a secondary consideration as Bradman aimed to batter the England side into submission. His experiences against Harold Larwood and Bill Voce in the winter of 1932-33 still rankled, as did the way that England had ground his side into the dust at The Oval in 1938, racking up 903 runs as Bradman was carried off with an ankle injury. The plans of his players, and those of England, to resume the Ashes in a new spirit of friendship were dashed very quickly

Bradman agreed to return to England for one last time in 1948, not content to play the hoped-for fun series in the euphoria of post-world war Britain, but intent on getting his own back on an England side that had a small number of good players but too many who were past their prime. He wanted to win not just the Test series, but to go through the tour unbeaten and leave an indelible memory on the cricketing public. He managed that, but at a cost.

It was a tour he nearly didn't make after periods of ill-health, but while not the player of ten years earlier, his side had depth in batting and two of the greatest-ever fast bowlers. Bradman's methods saw him come into conflict with members of his team, many of who had gone through the pressures of war and wanted only a pleasant sporting release against people they had fought alongside. There was a definite rift between those who had served and Bradman, who had been invalided from the war. Their discomfort at the tactics used is well-documented and the tale beautifully told.

It is a fine book and a memorable one. The depth of research is admirable, as the tour is documented in match by match detail. There's only one error, unfortunately repeated twice in reference to a Derbyshire player of the time. We never had a player named 'Fred' Pope, who was apparently in the England reckoning in that summer. We did have Alf Pope and perhaps 'Alfred' is where the confusion has arisen, but he didn't play county cricket after 1939. His brother George is the player referred to and I hope the error is corrected in a future paperback edition.

While it is probably too late to slip a Christmas hint to the someone special in your life, I'd heartily recommend this book to someone who likes a good read, enjoys cricket history and has a few quid in gift money to spend after the coming festivities.

It is definitely worth it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alternative look at Bradman and The Invincibles, 27 July 2013
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This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
Malcolm Knox knocks some of the gloss off the Bradman legend , but as journalists are apt to do he tends to shoehorn too many of the man's words and actions into fitting his thesis that Bradman was always looking to revenge long held grudges and that the 'spirit of cricket' for him was just about winning. Fascinating to read about the other characters involved in the 1948 tests and their relationships with each other &with Bradman -- Miller, Lindwall, Hasset, Barnes, Hutton, Compton, Bedser and Evans as well as the old Aussie test players turned journo' Fingleton & O'Reilly. I found the writing meandered a little, perhaps because as an Englishman I was less interested in the details of all five test matches in which an England still recovering from WWII, were hammered unmercifully by Bradman's team - a timely read with the current Ashes series underway !
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4.0 out of 5 stars Haven't finished reading it (more than half through) - makes ..., 20 July 2014
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This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
Haven't finished reading it (more than half through) - makes out strong case and appears to have been well researched: no item of gossip overlookeed. Perhaps labours his points a little too much
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Bradman's War., 23 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
An excellent book that tells of the ruthlessness of Sir Donald Bradman and his team. Bradman even enlisted the help of the England selectors to gain his series win. Malcolm Knox has done his research well and takes us back to a more keenly contested series of test matches than more recent series. England were easily beaten in the 1948 series and the author deserves praise for taking us back to a time of rationing and recovery from the second world war and notes the differences of the fitness of the two teams that did not help the English team.
Bradman's relations with his teammates are examined and his relationship with Keith Miller is fascinating.
A well-written book that I enjoyed reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 July 2014
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This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
This was bought as a gift for a friend and he is absolutely thrilled with it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars two sporting rivals, 15 Feb 2014
By 
D L LEAGAS (london, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Great read just shows the feelings there was still there even after the war had ended between two great sporting rivals
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The invincibles!, 25 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
A fascinating account of the legendary '48 tour. It is well known that Australia went through the tour undefeated, but Knox paints a fresh picture of this iconic tour. Well worth reading for even the seasoned cricket fans who thought they knew this story inside out.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Side of the Don, 22 Sep 2013
By 
Stuart Mcleod "Word Lover" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
Malcolm Knox's account of Sir Donald Bradman's 1948 "invincibles" tour is an absolute must buy for anyone remotely interested in Bradman, Australian cricket, and cricket's greatest rivalry that exists between Australia and England.

As all cricket enthusiasts know the 1948 team was unbeaten, a unique feat. What a happy experience that must have been for the Don; unfortunately, that was not necessarily the case for all of the members of the tour. Bradman was totally obsessed with the desire that his team should achieve this feat, and to this end everything else took a "back seat". Those who were considered unlikely to make the test side were starved of cricket, and it would seem that there was some complicity between Bradman and a certain member of England's cricket hierarchy.......

In this outstanding account of this unique tour, Malcolm Knox brilliantly demonstrates how Bradman's ruthlessness did much to make this less than a happy tour for some members of the side, and wonderfully captures the austerity of post war Britain and its flock of supporters hungry to see the marvellous cricket played by Bradman and his team.

An essential read for anyone interested in Ashes cricket.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well researched & authorative account of a memorable cricket tour., 2 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
Having personal memories of the 1948 tour the book contains several references to which I can readily identify.It would be a 5 star review if it were not for unfortunate mistakes regarding the last three Test Match dates,see pages 392,394 & 397.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cricket history brought up to date., 17 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Bradman's War (Hardcover)
The great test matches of the 1940 years all made so clear.good to hear all about the greatSir don and his superb team.
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Bradman's War
Bradman's War by Malcolm Knox (Hardcover - 2 July 2013)
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