Pulse: 60 Second Critic: Sports: War Without Death

War Without Death: A Year of Extreme Competition in Pro Football’s NFC East

By Mark Maske (Penguin; $25.95)

War Without Death won’t satisfy your green-and-silver bloodlust, but it does push open the closed doors of the ATM known as the NFL. Maske’s unprecedented access to the front offices and back rooms in Dallas, Washington, New York and Philly provides a rare look into how four distinctly different organizations are run, from the massive egos of Jerry Jones (Cowboys) and Dan Snyder (Redskins) to the more genial direction of John Mara (Giants) and hands-off — to his credit — Eagles owner Jeff Lurie. Regrettably, Maske doesn’t delve into how these teams’ rivalries developed or which is the most heated (a topic that screams for its own chapter). But he does succeed in capturing Birds fans in all their full-throated glory (when T.O. came back with Dallas in ’06), and delivers a well-paced, diverting read.