Reading Football: How the Popular Press Created an American Spectacleby Michael Oriard, Alan Trachtenberg
This book deals with football's inaugural years as mass spectacle at the turn of the century, complements the formalism of the anthropological concepts with historical dimension: it is a study not of what football 'means' but what it has meant, how meanings came into being under specific conditions of cultural production. Reading Football is the book that tells the story of how stories are told, the stories that cumulatively, and contradictorily, constitute 'football' in the formative years of its continuing career as a great American romance.
A well-researched, fascinating ride through football history that will be enjoyed by scholars and fans alike.
Michael Oriard's important book is a welcome, extremely insightful cultural history of football's early decades.
American Historical Review
[A] careful, fascinating study of football's emerging importance at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth.
Journal of Southern History
Reading Football is a playbook to understanding America.
Robert Lipsyte, sports columnist for The New York Times
What People are Saying About This
The starting point of this careful, fascinating study of football's emerging importance at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century is Michael Oriard's contention that football or more particularly the vast body of writing about football offers the scholar a rich and unique cultural text of the times.Journal of Southern History
[An] admirable book. . . . Oriard's thesis is refreshingly original.Nation
A well-researched, fascinating ride through football history that will be enjoyed by scholars and fans alike.Philadelphia Inquirer
An important contribution.New England Quarterly
No wonder we struggle against the distorted values of football and television. As Oriard brilliantly shows, those signals were called a hundred years ago when football and the popular press first ganged up to create the cultural text that helped define manliness, violence, and sexuality. Reading Football is a playbook to understanding America.Robert Lipsyte, sports columnist for The New York Times
Meet the Author
Michael Oriard, who played professional football for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1970 to 1973, is Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture at Oregon State University. He is author of Dreaming of Heroes: American Sports Fiction, 1868-1980, The End of Autumn: Reflections on My Life in Football, and Sporting with the Gods: The Rhetoric of Play and Game in American Culture.
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