Idols of the Game: A Sporting History of the American Century

Idols of the Game: A Sporting History of the American Century

by Robert Lipsyte, Peter Levine

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lipsyte, a columnist for the New York Times, and Levine, a professor of history at Michigan State University, here compile profiles of 16 prominent American athletes that explore the cultural significance their careers had on American society. The authors start with boxer John L. Sullivan, ``America's first great sports idol,'' who would come to epitomize the young, rough-and-tumble America of the 20th century. Babe Ruth was big, boisterous and could hit the long ball-the apotheosis of the Roaring '20s. Jackie Robinson, the one-man civil rights movement: ``It was the first time a black man shook a stick at a white man,'' said comedian Dick Gregory, ``and 50,000 white people cheered.'' Vince Lombardi, football coach extraordinaire, ``who was packed and sold by the NFL... as a teacher of life, a prophet of piety and patriotism, and a social engineer.'' And Michael Jordan, basketball icon and ultimate pitchman, takes us up to the '90s. Also profiled are Jack Johnson, Jim Thorpe, Knute Rockne, Babe Didrikson, Joe Louis, Mickey Mantle, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Martina Navratilova. A diverse, if not particularly insightful, look at the American athlete as symbol. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This companion to a six-hour TBS documentary is written by a prominent sports journalist (Lipsyte) and an academic sports historian (Levine). The focus is on the reflection of perceptions and ideals from the world of sports to the culture at large. Sixteen American sports heros from the past 100 years-from John L. Sullivan to Martina Navratilova-are profiled in light of what their public personas and private realities tell us about American culture. The vibrant writing covers such issues as gender, race, marketing and commercialism, political opportunism and hypocrisy, and the role of the media. This work rises above the sports genre and is highly recommended for all libraries.-John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, N.J.

Product Details

Turner Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.92(h) x 1.32(d)

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