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End of Amateurism in American Trac (10 Edition)


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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

This unique sports and labor history charts the revolutionary transformation of track and field over the past thirty years. In this time, the sport has changed from an amateur effort whose governing bodies unfairly controlled its athletes' lives to a professional arena in which athletes have the power to make decisions in their own best interests. While historians have chronicled labor history in team sports such as baseball and football or have lumped track and field into larger studies of Olympic history, Joseph M. Turrini is the first to scrupulously detail the efforts of athletes to reorder labor relations in track and field and to end their decades-long power struggle with governing bodies.


Combining social and institutional history and incorporating the recollections of the athletes and meet directors on the front lines, The End of Amateurism in Track and Field shows how the athletes thoroughly transformed their sport to end the amateur system in the early 1990s--changes that allowed the athletes to market their potential, drastically increase their earning possibilities, and improve their quality of life.


This book reveals how athletes in the 1950s began to harness the courts, legislature, and little-known underground labor relations systems that grew within the sport to untangle the distribution of power and decision-making by the 1990s. Enlivening the narrative with stories such as runner Wes Santee's battle with the Amateur Athletic Union and revelations about the actions of college coaches and rivalries between the NCAA and AAU, Turrini examines the effects of amateurism on athletes and explores how changes in the economic context of track and field and the role of the government helped leverage the end of the 100-year era of amateur track and field.

Book News Annotation:

Turrini (library and information science, Wayne State University) presents a sport and labor history of track and field between the 1950s and 1990s, combining social and institutional history with interviews of athletes and meet directors. The book details the efforts of athletes to reorder labor relations in track and field and to win their power struggle with governing bodies, which increased the athletes' earning potential. The narrative is punctuated with stories of athletes and coaches and rivalries between various bodies and organizations. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

"Exhaustively researched.  Recommended."--Choice



"The End of Amateurism in American Track and Field is as much a page turner for track fans as it is a compelling read as a business book."--Running Times


"Broadly conceived and thorough in its analysis, The End of Amateurism in American Track and Field examines the power relations in track and field and shows how track athletes successfully negotiated labor issues. Joseph M. Turrini offers heretofore uncovered stories and events in track and field that help explain the inner workings of sport as social and political institutions.”--David K. Wiggins, author of Glory Bound: Black Athletes in a White World

Product Details

Turrini Joseph
University of Illinois Press
Turrini, Joseph M.
Roberts, Randy
Rader, Benjamin G.
Track and field athletes -- United States.
Amateur Athletic Union of the United States -
Track & Field
Sports and Fitness-Track and Field
Edition Description:
1st Edition
Sport and Society
Publication Date:
12 black and white photographs
9.00 x 6.00 in

Related Subjects

Humanities » Philosophy » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Track and Field

End of Amateurism in American Trac (10 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 280 pages University of Illinois Press - English 9780252077074 Reviews:
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