Freedom to Win: A Cold War Story of the Courageous Hockey Team That Fought the Soviets for the Soul of Its People--And Olympic Gold


Product Details

$28.95  $26.92
Pegasus Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 9.1 X 1.5 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Ethan Scheiner is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis. His previous books include Democracy without Competition in Japan and Electoral Systems and Political Context. He now teaches and writes on the intersection of politics and sports. His writing on sports and political resistance has appeared in the Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, Politico, and The Daily Beast.


"Had Freedom To Win been delivered by a Hollywood screenwriter, it would have been regarded as fine fiction. But Ethan Scheiner's work is the real thing. History at its gripping best. Individual stories of heroism help this wonderful work shine a bright light on a history too long overlooked."--Stan Fischler, The Hockey News and member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
"Just as war is said to be diplomacy by other means, sport can be war by other means, never more dramatically so than in the epic ice hockey games between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia in the 1969 World Championships. A more timely story, in the light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is hard to imagine. Grippingly told, packed with rich characters, the book's intimately narrated climax comes seven months after Soviet tanks rumbled into Prague, stifling Czechoslovakia's attempt to break free from the hardline repressive rule the Soviets had imposed upon it. Freedom to Win is a classic tale of revenge, but much more. It is a celebration of courage, hope and human dignity, a story for the ages that needed to be told, especially right now."--John Carlin, New York Times bestselling author of Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation
"Ethan Scheiner's Freedom to Win is, at once, the inspiring tale of a family caught in the maw of the Cold War, and a riveting underdog story about how sports have the power to transcend and transform us all."-- "Monte Burke, New York Times bestselling author of Saban, Lords of the Fly, and 4th And Goal"
"Freedom to Win is much more than the tale of the underdog Czechoslovakia hockey team taking on the Soviet juggernaut on the ice after the Red Army crushed the 1968 Prague Spring. While focusing on hockey, it manages to tell the entire modern story of the Czechs and Slovaks and their remarkable quest for freedom. This highly readable book deserves to make Czechoslovakia's "Miracle on Ice" as familiar as the better known (at least to American fans) U.S. hockey triumph at the 1980 Olympics."-- "Max Boot, Washington Post columnist and New York Times bestselling author of The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam"
"Ethan Scheiner's Freedom to Win is a masterwork of narrative nonfiction. The research, attention to detail, colorful characters, and riveting history combine to create a remarkable book that's impossible to put down. While the story of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the 1969 world hockey championships may mean skating on new ice for many readers, the stirring tale of resistance to authoritarianism is both universal and timely. More than a hockey story, Freedom to Win brilliantly illustrates the transcendent power of sports in moments of crisis."--Andrew Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of Strong Inside, Games of Deception, Singled Out, and Inaugural Ballers
"Many readers will be familiar with the time in Eastern Europe's history centered around the Prague Spring, but fewer will know how hockey played a part in the Czechoslovakian people's resilience. Scheiner deftly interweaves the story of Czechs and Slovaks forming a national hockey team. Much more than a book about hockey. Will appeal to hockey fans and readers interested in the relationship between sports and patriotism."--Library Journal
"What makes Freedom to Win so intriguing is the way it is framed. Scheiner's book weaves hockey and world history magnificently. As he spoke with Martina Navratilova, Scheiner got his inspiration for the book's title. 'Those games meant everything to us. They gave us hope. They gave us a sense that we still had the freedom to win.'" --The Hockey News