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Posted April 19, 2000
The Dark Side of American Culture and Media
This is not a book about basketball. It's not a book about Michael Jordan. It's a book about how Michael Jordan and the sport of basketball epitomize a new era of globalization, international communications, transnational corporations and 'soft' imperialism. Tracing the history and evolution of basketball, the NBA, and Michael Jordan, Walter LaFeber introduces a darker side of sports and culture. The book describes how when Jordan joined the Chicago Bulls the conditions for his success as a public figure had been predetermined. Using Nike and Jordan as an example, LaFeber demonstrates the power of transnational corporations and media technology to showcase American popular culture to the world. Throughout the book, the author criticizes Nike's relentless pursuit of profits at the expense of minority groups, exploited workers in developing countries, and American society in general. Ultimately, he suggests the Nike and Jordan combination illustrates the significant consequences of capitalism gone global. LaFeber describes how the media's continual broadcast of Jordan's image, and the products he endorsed, contributed to a change in the culture's of the world. He argues that the ideological battleground of the new millenium will pit the forces of culture against the forces of capital. While LaFeber's conclusions are extreme, he paints a compelling argument. At the very least, his book highlights the issues faced by a world where the notion of a global village has become a reality.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.