My original book review of D'Arcy Jenish's book The Montreal Canadiens follows with two newly released excerpts exclusive to my sister site HockeyBookReviews.com.
We will have to judge each book on it's own merits. But I can confidently say that The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory by D'arcy Jenish does a great job of telling us the story of the Montreal Canadiens. And in doing so he offers us a new look at that history.
Buy The Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com
Publisher has provided two free excerpts: This Is Hockeytown & A Team Like No Other - enjoy!
Jenish is an exhaustive researcher, spending four years scouring through literally miles and miles of microfilm at archives and libraries. Why? Because he believes that too much of Montreal's glorified history has been passed on has been retold and skewed by wonderful nostalgia. By accessing the long forgotten work of the sports journalists who were reporting the moment history actually happened Jenish believes, rightfully, that his book captures the spirit of history as it unfolded.
By doing so Jenish captures the true history of the Montreal Canadiens, warts and all. He looks at the team's formation and near failing 100 years ago. He looks at how the team survived two World Wars and the Great Depression, barely, before becoming, some 40 years later, the greatest hockey team ever. He carries us through the glory years of the 1950s through the end of the 1970s, when the team unthinkably won 15 Stanley Cups in 23 seasons. Jenish then looks at the past 30 years of relative quiet, where fans have had to learn to be patient and have lowered expectations.
Along the way Jenish, a personal friend of Montreal Canadiens boss Bob Gainey, writes about many key figures in Montreal's history, correcting nostalgic misconceptions about many while remembering some of the more overlooked.
And he does this all largely through the work of the talented newspaper writers of yesteryear.
This book, published by Doubleday Canada, is a great read, and certainly a must for any true fan of the bleu, blanc et rouge.