Playing to Win: Sports and the American Military, 1898-1945

Playing to Win: Sports and the American Military, 1898-1945

by Wanda Ellen Wakefield
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791433145

ISBN-13: 9780791433140

Pub. Date: 04/28/1997

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Traces the development of U.S. military sports and explains how and why the American armed forces embraced sports as a crucial part of training and entertainment for the men (and ultimately women) in uniform.

This book explains how and why the American armed forces embraced sports as a critical part of training and as entertainment for the men—and,

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Overview

Traces the development of U.S. military sports and explains how and why the American armed forces embraced sports as a crucial part of training and entertainment for the men (and ultimately women) in uniform.

This book explains how and why the American armed forces embraced sports as a critical part of training and as entertainment for the men—and, eventually, women—in uniform. The author traces the development of military sports from the Spanish-American War through the end of World War II and shows how they became an integral part of military culture. Wakefield uses the military’s sports program to explore issues of power, masculinity, and race as they were expressed and reinforced through athletic competitions and demonstrates how they strengthened hierarchical relationships. She also shows how the armed forces attempted to use sports to further national interests on the diplomatic front and to reduce racial and sexual tension.

In addition, Wakefield argues for the interpenetration of the worlds of sports and war, showing how sports metaphors were used to masculinize the military enterprise and maintain morale. Wartime propelled interest in sports, and sports helped to maintain patriotism and gender identity among the troops. The book makes the case that the size and scope of the military’s efforts to draw all soldiers and sailors into sports reflect the extent to which competitive athletics in the twentieth century have come to represent a means for advancing not only war but peace.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791433140
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Series:
SUNY series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
5.85(w) x 8.91(h) x 0.51(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1. War and Sports: From the Spanish-American War to 1917

2. World War I and Military Athletics at Home and in the Face of Battle

3. Playing in the Post-War World and Planning for the Future of Military Sport

4. Building Strong Men and New Facilities for Another War

5. Creating the Military Sports Machine: Special Service Officers and World War II

6. Strong Men, Strong Bodies, Off to War, 1941-1945

7. WACs, WAVEs, "Sissies;' and the "Negro Soldier:" Military Sports for the Marginalized

8. Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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