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The Athletic Crusade: Sport and American Cultural Imperialism

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Overview

The Athletic Crusade is the first book to systematically analyze the role of sports in the expansion of U.S. empire from the 1890s through World War II. Gerald R. Gems details how white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant males set the standard for inclusion within American society, transferred that standard to foreign territories, and subtly used American sports to instill allegedly desirable racial, moral, and commercial virtues in colonial subjects. In the realm of such expansion, sports provided a less harsh, less militaristic means of instilling belief in a dominant system's values and principles than more overt methods such as war.
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Editorial Reviews

Aethlon: Journal of the Sport Literature Association

“Gems is careful to examine each nation and its own experiences and not lump the globe together in a one effort/one reaction model. The study of sport imperialism is not new. Gems provides the largest and most detailed examination of American involvement in this process, and the organization of his book readily allows for nation by nation comparisons of imperialist techniques and reactions. The book is of obvious interest to sport scholars but also those whose interest include sociology, politics, and military history.”

American Studies Journal

"[The Athletic Crusade is] an important contribution to our understanding of the international ramifications of American sports."—Aram Goudsouzian, American Studies Journal

— Aram Goudsouzian

Choice

“Gems has produced a brisk, provocative, clearly written history of the role of sport in US foreign engagements. . . . This is a lucid and valuable study.”

Journal of American History

“Gems has done a great service to all those interested in the role of sport in the imperial adventures of the United States. He has offered a devastating analysis of the American imperial enterprise and has demonstrated the significant role of sport both for the conquering power and for those who tried to resist the imperial intrusion.”

Aethlon: Journal of the Sport Literature Association

“Gems is careful to examine each nation and its own experiences and not lump the globe together in a one effort/one reaction model. The study of sport imperialism is not new. Gems provides the largest and most detailed examination of American involvement in this process, and the organization of his book readily allows for nation by nation comparisons of imperialist techniques and reactions. The book is of obvious interest to sport scholars but also those whose interest include sociology, politics, and military history.”—Aethlon: Journal of the Sport Literature Association

 

 

American Studies Journal

"[The Athletic Crusade is] an important contribution to our understanding of the international ramifications of American sports."—Aram Goudsouzian, American Studies Journal

— Aram Goudsouzian

Aethlon: Journal of the Sport Literature Association

“Gems is careful to examine each nation and its own experiences and not lump the globe together in a one effort/one reaction model. The study of sport imperialism is not new. Gems provides the largest and most detailed examination of American involvement in this process, and the organization of his book readily allows for nation by nation comparisons of imperialist techniques and reactions. The book is of obvious interest to sport scholars but also those whose interest include sociology, politics, and military history.”—Aethlon: Journal of the Sport Literature Association

 
 

American Studies Journal - Aram Goudsouzian

"[The Athletic Crusade is] an important contribution to our understanding of the international ramifications of American sports."—Aram Goudsouzian, American Studies Journal
Journal of American History

“Gems has done a great service to all those interested in the role of sport in the imperial adventures of the United States. He has offered a devastating analysis of the American imperial enterprise and has demonstrated the significant role of sport both for the conquering power and for those who tried to resist the imperial intrusion.”—Journal of American History

Choice

“Gems has produced a brisk, provocative, clearly written history of the role of sport in US foreign engagements. . . . This is a lucid and valuable study.”—Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803222168
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Gerald R. Gems is a professor of health and physical education at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He is the author of For Pride, Profit, and Patriarchy: Football and the Incorporation of American Cultural Values and Windy City Wars: Labor, Leisure, and Sport in the Making of Chicago.
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Table of Contents

1 Race, religion, and manifest destiny 1
2 China and the rejection of Christianity 17
3 Baseball and Bushido in Japan 30
4 Sport and colonialism in the Philippines 45
5 Hawaii as a cultural crossroads of sport 67
6 Cuba and the rehabilitative qualities of sport 82
7 Sport and the restoration of pride in Puerto Rico 99
8 Sport and economic retaliation in the Dominican Republic 115
9 The outposts of empire 125
10 The globalization of sport 148
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