A Brief History of American Sports

A Brief History of American Sports

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by Elliott J. Gorn
     
 

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Elliott J. Gorn and Warren Goldstein show us where our games and pastimes came from, how they developed, and what they have meant to Americans. The great heroes of baseball and football are here, as well as the dramatic moments of boxing and basketball. Beyond this, the authors show us how sports fit into the larger contours of our past. A Brief History of

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Overview

Elliott J. Gorn and Warren Goldstein show us where our games and pastimes came from, how they developed, and what they have meant to Americans. The great heroes of baseball and football are here, as well as the dramatic moments of boxing and basketball. Beyond this, the authors show us how sports fit into the larger contours of our past. A Brief History of American Sports reveals that from colonial times to the present, sports have been central to American culture, and a profound expression of who we are.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"We have for too long ignored the critical importance of sports in our continuing national narrative, seeking meaning only in the increasingly stale arena of the state (and its wars and generals and ‘great men'). With A Brief History of American Sports, Elliott J. Gorn and Warren Goldstein remind us that the very serious world of play provides a precise mirror of American life and aspiration, a deep, at times painful, but always abiding portrait of who we are."—Ken Burns, documentary film director, and co-author of Baseball: An Illustrated History 

"If history were baseball, Gorn and Goldstein would get credit for a triple play: they have skillfully and imaginatively integrated sports into the framework of American culture and society, produced a pioneering work which should have enduring influence, and given us a scholarly history which is delightful to read. It's a terrific book in every way."—Lawrence W. Levine, University of California at Berkeley

Library Journal
The authors should have entitled their book A Brief Cultural History of American Sports . Gorn (Miami Univ. of Ohio) and Goldstein (SUNY-Old Westbury), both American studies professors, give a cultural overview of the way sports affect American society and how American society in turn shapes organized sports. One of the author's themes is that most sporting events evolved as social displays emphasizing white male domination and power, with violence, racial bias, sexism, and elitism as natural outgrowths. The text asserts that commercialization has corrupted sports, affected the educational system, and severely damaged the ideal of amateurism. Benjamin Rader's American Sports ( LJ 4/1/83) is a better history, but Gorn and Goldstein offer a rich source of discussion topics for American studies, sociology, or sports history classes.-- Terry Madden, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id.
Booknews
Describes and interprets some central themes in the history of sports in America, showing how sports are intertwined with other social and cultural developments, how changes in the organization of production and consumption have affected the growth and experience of sports, and how sports have served as a key arena for the formation and definition of gender and class identities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252071843
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
02/28/2004
Edition description:
Illustrate
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)

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Meet the Author

Elliott J. Gorn is a professor of history at Brown University. He is the author of The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America, Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America, and editor of Muhammad Ali: The People's Champ. Warren Goldstein chairs the Department of History at the University of Hartford. He is the author of the award-winning Playing for Keeps: A History of Early Baseball.  

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