Sports in American Life: A History / Edition 1

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This richly documented book traces the evolution of American sports from the colonial period to the present, when sports have become fully integrated into the political, social, cultural, and economic fabric of the nation. The narrative is organized around the argument that sports have been a significant social force throughout much of the history of the United States, providing Americans with a venue in which major cultural and social issues have been debated, contested, and, in some notable instances, resolved. Extensively illustrated and accessibly written, this text is ideal for undergraduate courses in sports history.

About the Author:
Richard O. Davies is University Foundation Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Richard Davies has given us a wonderfully rich and comprehensive look – not only at the history of sports in the United States, but at what sports means to such a diverse people. His is a valuable addition to our understanding of this institution that works itself so deeply into our culture." Frank Deford, Senior Consulting Editor, Sports Illustrated

"This is a superb history of American sport. Davies explains in great detail and with much passion how sport in this country was transformed from an informal activity to a highly structured and organized phenomenon." David K. Wiggins, George Mason University

"By introducing some of the basic topics and literature on sport from the American Colonial period through the present, Davies hopes to show how important sports have been throughout American history, both in and of themselves and as a social force." Choice“Gracefully joining well-chosen analytic themes and illustrative biographies … Davies puts scholarship and art on the same team … .And gives us something to cheer for.” Journal of Social History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405106481
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/25/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard O. Davies is University Foundation Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including America's Obsession: Sports and Society Since 1945 (1994), and Main Street Blues: The Decline of Small-Town America (1998), which was named one of the top 25 books in American History by Choice. Although his publications range widely over the history of twentieth-century American history, he has in the past decade established himself as one of the leading scholars in the growing field of American sports history.

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Table of Contents



1. Games the Colonists Played.

2. Emergence of Organized Sports, 1815-1860.

3. "This Noble and Envigorating Game".

4. Formative Years of College Football.

5. Sports and the Emergence of Modern America, 1865-1920.

6. Baseball Ascendant, 1890-1930.

7. "An Evil to be Endured," Sports on Campus, 1920-1950.

8. Sports in an Age of Ballyhoo, Depression, and War, 1920-1945.

9. America’s Great Dilemma.

10. Television Changes the Face of American Sports.

11. College Sports in the Modern Era.

12. Play For Pay.

13. Do You Believe in Miracles?.

14. The Persistent Dilemma of Race.

15. "Only In America".

16. The Democratization of Sports.




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