Football Nation

Overview

Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America's Game from the Library of Congress is an unprecedented look at football from its early days in colonial America to the professional and college game in the twenty-first century.

This visually stunning social and cultural history contains nearly 400 images, many rare or never before published, including memorabilia, cartoons, fine art, and game photographs. The lively text examines how the game acquired its distinct American style, ...

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Overview

Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America's Game from the Library of Congress is an unprecedented look at football from its early days in colonial America to the professional and college game in the twenty-first century.

This visually stunning social and cultural history contains nearly 400 images, many rare or never before published, including memorabilia, cartoons, fine art, and game photographs. The lively text examines how the game acquired its distinct American style, survived attempts to kill it, and became the country’s dominant sport, while coping with wartime, social change, intensifying fan participation, and corporate influence.

Throughout the book, illustrated features explore the history of the fight song, tailgating, and cheerleading; how Hollywood has portrayed the game and its players; the long-running role of women in football; and the impact of game-changing personalities from pioneer Walter Camp to Coach Vince Lombardi to contemporary player agents. (Indeed, no other football book includes such a diverse range of figures as Abigail Adams, Nathan Hale, Confederate general James Longstreet, Al Capone, Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, Hirohito, several U.S. presidents, and Peyton Manning.) Quite simply, this book reveals how the United States came to be Football Nation.
 
“With hundreds of illustrations from the incomparable collections of the Library of Congress this is a book to treasure, not just read. The casual fan will be enchanted; the scholar will find something new on every page.”

 

—Dr. Michael Oriard, an English professor and dean at Oregon State University, former All American offensive lineman at Notre Dame, former NFL player, and the author of Brand NFL: Making and Selling America’s Favorite Sport

 

Football Nation is an awesome read and unlike any other sports history I’ve come across. It’s great to see how the game evolved in America and how it’s been a part of our history since the beginning.”

 

—Eli Manning, two-time Super Bowl MVP and quarterback for the New York Giants

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
11/01/2013
Visually, this coffee-table book on football is a gem, featuring an abundance of black-and-white and color photographs, illustrations, and reproduced magazine and game-program covers, selected by Athena Angelos (photo editor, Lib. of Congress; World War II: 365 Days), largely from the library's own vast holdings. The images depict all levels of football from peewees to the pros, not to mention shots of soldiers playing the sport during both world wars and the Vietnam and Afghanistan conflicts. The text by Susan Reyburn (editor & writer, Lib. of Congress) is surprisingly thorough in its chronological account of the development of American football from various football games dating to the 17th century to its tenure now as the most popular sport in the nation. The literate narrative is divided into four chapters ("quarters") that cover the rise of the game in our culture with several interesting sidebars on special topics, such as the outlawed flying wedge play, fight songs, and Thanksgiving Day games. VERDICT This attractive and intelligent retelling of the growth and history of the game will appeal equally to college and pro-football fans.—John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810997622
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 103,807
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with extensive archives that contain millions of images. Susan Reyburn is a writer and editor for the Library whose books include Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress, The Library of Congress World War II Companion, and Women Who Dare: Amelia Earhart. Athena Angelos is a veteran Library of Congress photo editor who worked on Abrams’ World War II: 365 Days.
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