Synopses & Reviews
Anthropologist John Fox sets off on a worldwide adventure to thefarthest reaches of the globe and the deepest recesses of our ancientpast to answer a question inspired by his sports-loving son:
"Why do we play ball?"
From Mexican jungles to the small-town gridirons of Ohio, frommedieval villages and royal courts to modern soccer pitches andbaseball parks, The Ball explores the little-known origins ofour favorite sports across the centuries, and traces how a simpleinvention like the ball has come to stake an unrivaled claim on ourpassions, our money, and our lives. Equal parts history and travelogue,The Ball removes us from the scandals and commercialism of today'ssports world to uncover the true reasons we play ball, helping us reclaimour universal connection to the games we love.
Combining the best traditions of Franklin Foer's How Soccer Explains the World and Mark Kurlansky's Salt, anthropologist and adventurer John Fox presents an engaging, popular history of humanitys most ubiquitous, ordinary, and deeply fascinating creation: the ball. Traveling the globe and uncovering the histories of games involving balls ranging from rolling heads to pigskins, Fox reveals how this unassuming object can tell us not only of the evolution of human playbut the story of human civilization.
About the Author
John Fox has excavated ancient ball courtsin Central America, traced Marco Polo's route acrossChina, and bicycled Africa's Rift Valley in search ofhuman origins. He has contributed commentary to VermontPublic Radio as well as Smithsonian, Outside, andSalon, among other publications. He lives in Boston.