For more sepcific summary and discussion of the book, look no further than the series of diary posts being done by MGoBlogger 03 Blue 07. He's doing a nice job, and his reply-comments are also excellent.
I write this, my fellow Wolverines, because we were right. We were right all along. We. Were. Right.
One of the things I expect that you will all find with this book, is that while Rich Rodriguez is the lead character, he is not a dominating character. This book is certainly about Rodriguez to a great extent; but it is not told from his perspective. It is not "his" story. It is "a" story. Or, more correctly, a series of stories. You will dig into this book, and you will not put it down.
Here's the thing: while I am going to leave the field clear for others to read, think about and comment on this book, I want to say right now -- WE WERE RIGHT.
We were right to question the motives and methods of Michael Rosenberg, Mark Snyder and the Detroit Free Press. Looking back, you all know what was written on this site. Many of you complained that I in particular went overboard. And that Brian Cook was too anti-Freep and too lenient in allowoing me to post what I did.
What I expect most of you to say when you've had a chance to digest the book, is that we may have been too easy on Rosenberg and Snyder.
The Free Press is very nearly the lead antagonist in the entire book.
And what the book makes clear, that none of us on the outside could, is that the Free Press stories were really hurting the program, the coaches, their friends, their families and the Michigan players.
If you've been reading this blog carefully for three years, you will know much of what Bacon is writing about. You will feel that you have been very well prepared to follow the story. You'll already know most of the details. But what you'll see for the first time is how badly our coaches and players were being hurt and distracted by what the Free Press had concocted.
Interestingly, to start with, you'll actuallly see the praise that Bacon lavishes on Rosenberg, as a writer of considerable skill and intelligence. Rosenberg had a good reputation. Bacon acknowledges it.
But Bacon also makes it very clear, by the time you get to the end; Rosenberg was no less a villain than that which he was portrayed as on this blog. And that Brian Cook was an important figure, in trying to clear the air. Brian, and Jon Chait, were right. All along. Asking precisely the right questions, demanding exactly the right answers.
Largely left out of Bacon's book is the other Detroit media, which for better or worse gets portrayed as just sort of following the Rosenberg lead. Hopefully, this book will shake that up, because the Rosenberg/Freep Jihad has been there for the writing all along. This blog (which gets healthy mentinon in the book!) has been on the case, and now looks very much the better for having done so.
Many of you, the Michigan cognoscenti, will buy this book and read it and smile quietly to yourselves, thinking, "Yep; just as we had known; I saw this on MGoBlog first." But I hope you will all do something else. Get extra copies of this book; give them to your uninitiated friends. Give them to the other factionalists.
We've talked about the factions; my own thinking on that subject perhaps hasn't been as forceful as my writing about Rosenberg and the Free Press. But as much as outing the Freep to the general public, this book outs the factions. We suspected them; they were there. Worse even than I had imagined. Everyone needs to read this book. Lots of people won't like parts of it. I don't much care. Everybody needs to read this book. This book isn't required reading for the In Rod We Trust fanatics. This book is more than anything required reading above all for the Rodriguez haters. If you know one, buy him a copy.