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A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play (New Press People's Histories)

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A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play (New Press People's Histories) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From David Zirin, "The best young sportswriter in America" (says Robert Lipsyte), comes a rollicking, rebellious, myth-busting history of sports in America that puts politics in the ring with pop culture.

In this long-awaited book from the rising superstar of sportswriting, whose blog "The Edge of Sports" is read each week by thousands of people across the country, Dave Zirin offers a riotously entertaining chronicle of larger-than-life sporting characters and dramatic contests, and what amounts to an alternative history of the United States as seen through the games its people played. Through Zirin's eyes, sports are never mere games, but a reflection of — and a spur toward — the political conflicts that shape American society.

Half a century before Jackie Robinson was born, the black ballplayer Moses Fleetwood Walker brandished a revolver to keep racist fans at bay, then took his regular place in the lineup. In the midst of the Depression, when almost no black athletes were allowed on the U.S. Olympic team, athletes held a Counter Olympics where a third of the participants were African American.

A People's History of Sports in the United States is replete with surprises for seasoned sports fans, while anyone interested in history will be amazed by the connections Zirin draws between politics and pop flies. As Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop, puts it, "After you read him, you'll never see sports the same way again."

Review:

"Zirin (What's My Name, Fool?), writer of a politically minded online sports column, examines the intersection of sports and politics, chronicling the struggles of America's oppressed, starting with Choctaws playing lacrosse and slaves in the South, and reaching all the way to a critique of Michael Jordan as an apolitical athlete. There are many worthy and deserving stories of courage and conscience in this vast canvas; however, the telling suffers from Zirin's term paper — like prose that relies far too much on overly long quotes from source material. For example, three pages about NFL player Dave Meggyesy has a short introductory paragraph by Zirin and then excerpts Meggyesy's autobiography for the bulk of the section. This book would have been more engaging and logically organized as a reference book with entries on each athlete or group, rather than a linear historical narrative of sports. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A thought-provoking, contrarian take on American sport." Booklist

About the Author

Dave Zirin is the author of three books, including What's My Name, Fool? and Welcome to the Terrordome. He writes the popular weekly online sports column The Edge of Sports and is a regular contributor to The Nation, SLAM, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Nba267, January 8, 2009 (view all comments by Nba267)
A People's History of Sports in the United States was very well written and very well researched. Zirin does a phenomenal job of not only writing about sports and politics, but he also does a great job of including relevant topics. Spanning from the Indians to Micheal Jordan, Zirin writes about every possible topic you can think of. From racism, sexism, rebellion and civil rights, everything is covered. The quotes and newspaper fragments, add fuel to the fire he builds. In clearly a more researched book, Zirin writes less then you would expect but still manages to analyze every topic very properly. When writing a non-fiction book, you have to be well organized, educated on the matter and open minded. Zirin does a stellar job of this.

Zirin demonstrates at least two points of view for each topic if not more. He manages to display the optimist and pessimist for every affair brought up, not favoring any side and letting the reader infer the message themselves however they would like to.

All in all the book exhibits sports' relevance in society, and disdains all people who think sports and politics don't belong together. You may think they do not, but as Dave Zirin shows, they do and they always will.

A must read for anyone who enjoys sports. Also, a must read for anyone who enjoys history. If you intellectual curiosity, this one is for you.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781595581006
Subtitle:
250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play
Publisher:
The New Press
Editor:
Zinn, Howard
Author:
Zirin, Dave
Author:
Zirin, David
Author:
Zinn, Howard
Subject:
History
Subject:
Sports
Subject:
Sports -- Social aspects -- United States.
Subject:
Sports -- Political aspects -- United States.
Subject:
Sports and Fitness-Sports General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
New Press People's History
Publication Date:
September 2008
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
302
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects


Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports Writing

A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play (New Press People's Histories)
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 302 pages Norton - English 9781595581006 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Zirin (What's My Name, Fool?), writer of a politically minded online sports column, examines the intersection of sports and politics, chronicling the struggles of America's oppressed, starting with Choctaws playing lacrosse and slaves in the South, and reaching all the way to a critique of Michael Jordan as an apolitical athlete. There are many worthy and deserving stories of courage and conscience in this vast canvas; however, the telling suffers from Zirin's term paper — like prose that relies far too much on overly long quotes from source material. For example, three pages about NFL player Dave Meggyesy has a short introductory paragraph by Zirin and then excerpts Meggyesy's autobiography for the bulk of the section. This book would have been more engaging and logically organized as a reference book with entries on each athlete or group, rather than a linear historical narrative of sports. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A thought-provoking, contrarian take on American sport."
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