"Beekman sets out to generate some respect for professional wrestling by fully examining the history of the sport in the US. He untangles the myths and legends of professional wrestling without skimping on the entertaining stories and the larger-than-life personalities. He provides a brief account of wrestling's global history before investigating the sport as a specifically American institution, focusing on the business of wrestling as well as the performers and their antics."
Reference & Research Book News
"Beekman has written an excellent account of the history of professional wrestling from its origins in ancient civilizations to its current status as entertainment in the US. His meticulous research is evident in the copious documentation. He includes an insightful discussion of the business practices wrestlers and promoters have engaged in to preserve this pseudo-sport and make it one of the US's leading entertainment industries. Like Elliot Gorn's The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America, Beekman's historical view of the rise of professional wrestling looks at how the sport mirrors blue-collar society. Readers may have difficultyas this reviewer didkeeping track of the names of individuals, organizations, and cartels that pepper this history. The book includes a notes section and a lengthy bibliography. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers."
"Beekman's book is thick with historical detail and archival evidence, which makes it a real resource for research into professional wrestling's enduring allure."
TDR: The Drama Review