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See below for a selection of the latest books from History of sport category. Presented with a red border are the History of sport books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great History of sport books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
The first full biography of the star Negro Leaguer and Hall of Famer James Cool Papa Bell (1903-1991) was a legend in black baseball, a lightning fast switch hitter elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. Bell's speed was extraordinary; as Satchel Paige famously quipped, he was so fast he could fl ip a light switch and be in bed before the room got dark. In The Bona Fide Legend of Cool Papa Bell, experienced baseball writer and historian Lonnie Wheeler recounts the life of this extraordinary player, a key member of some of the greatest Negro League teams in history. Born to sharecroppers in Mississippi, Bell was part of the Great Migration, and in St. Louis, baseball saved Bell from a life working in slaughterhouses. Wheeler charts Bell's ups and downs in life and in baseball, in the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, where he went to escape American racism and MLB's color line. Rich in context and suffused in myth, this is a treat for fans of baseball history.
This book places sports in a global historical context in order to show how they influence world politics and the world economy (and vice versa), and explaining the influence of sports at certain moments in global politics and world economic developments. Viewing sports in relation to key elements of world history - capitalist growth, investment, and marketing, ideology and security, institutional integration, immigration, nationalism, civil and human rights, tensions between democracies and dictatorships, universalism and isolationism - the book explores the ways in which professional sports, like other cultural phenomena, shape, or at least factor into, international politics.
Featuring an amazing cast of historical figures, this is the story of how President Theodore Roosevelt led an American sports and fitness revolution. An engaging book you can hold with one hand while doing light bicep curls with the other. -Washington Post A fascinating account...Sports fans and history buffs alike will enjoy this focused portrait. -Publishers Weekly Give up exercise, a doctor told Theodore Roosevelt while he attended Harvard, or you might die of a heart attack! This after suffering crippling asthma, myopic eyesight, and other ailments as a child. Roosevelt's body was his weakness, the one hill he could never conquer . . . But, oh, how he tried! In vivid detail, The Strenuous Life shows how Roosevelt carried his obsession to the nation's highest office, championing a new age of American athleticism. As President, Roosevelt boxed, practiced Ju-Jitsu, played tennis, conducted harrowing point-to-point walks, and invited athletes to the White House. Unsurprisingly, Roosevelt's personal quest reverberated broadly: his administration saw an unprecedented rise in sports and recreational activities. With Roosevelt in office, baseball's first ever World Series took place, interscholastic sports began, and schools placed a legitimate emphasis on physical education. The NCAA formed, and the United States hosted the Olympics for the first time. It was an American sports and fitness revolution. Yes, the Bull Moose, as he'd come to be known, resided squarely in the midst of this upheaval. Filled with amazing anecdotes, a who's who of American political and sports figures from the early 20th century, and Rooseveltian gusto and humor, this book is the play-by-play and color commentary on Roosevelt's Strenuous Life. Swanson...[is] one of those enterprising academics who have perfected slicing American history into ever finer layers. - Wall Street Journal
In this addictive (Publishers Weekly) romp, intrepid sportswriter Rafi Kohan finagles access to our most beloved fields to find out just what makes them tick: from old-timer Wrigley, creakily adjusting to the twenty-first century, to the oversized monstrosity of Jerry's World in Dallas. Investigating harrowing logistics and deeply ingrained traditions, Kohan employs his infectious wit and style (Christian Science Monitor) to expose the realities of building and maintaining these commercial cathedrals of sports worship. Highly compelling (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), The Arena is a must-read for superfans, shameless bandwagoners, athletes, groundskeepers, culture junkies, and anyone who's ever headed off eagerly to the ballpark to catch a game.
This title deals with unforgettable fans, teams, and athletes. The sixteen original essays in this collection cover influential and famous rivalries from a variety of sports, including track and field, golf, boxing, basketball, tennis, ice skating, baseball, football, soccer, and more. The essays are diverse, but together they illustrate what is common to any rivalry: equally matched opponents that often have decidedly different backgrounds, styles, and personalities. These differences may center on race and culture, political and societal ideologies, personality, geography, or religion - a singular mix intensified by fans and the media. From highly publicized and emotionally charged individual competitions to bitterly fought team contests, Rivals illuminates what one-of-a-kind opponents and the passion they inspire tell us about ourselves and our society.
The annual clash in New Orleans between the Grambling State University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars represents the fiercest and most anticipated in-state football rivalry in Louisiana. The most significant national game to feature historically black colleges and universities is more than a contest; the Bayou Classic is a lavish event, featuring celebrities, a fan festival, and a halftime Battle of the Bands that offers an intensity equal to that of the gridiron. In Bayou Classic, Thomas Aiello chronicles the history of the game and explores the two schools' broader significance to Louisiana, to sports, and to the black community. When the Southern University Bushmen football team traveled to Monroe, Louisiana, to play the Tigers of Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute for the first time on Armistice Day, 1932, few realized they were witnessing the birth of a phenomenon. Aiello recounts Southern's early dominance over the smaller, two-year institution; Southern's acceptance into the Southwestern Athletic Conference; Grambling's hiring of the legendary Eddie Robinson, who would lead the Tigers to 408 wins between 1941 and 1997; Grambling's first victory over Southern; and years of alternating home and away games. In 1974, the rivalry found a neutral site in New Orleans -- first at Tulane Stadium and then the Superdome -- and became the Bayou Classic. An NBC television contract introduced the Bayou Classic to a nationwide audience and completed the transformation of the game into a major event. The Bayou Classic remains the only nationally broadcast game between two historically black schools. Aiello supplements his colorful narrative with period photographs and informative appendices providing game results, statistics, and all-star teams from every year the schools have played. To appreciate the rivalry, Coach Eddie Robinson once noted, you have to realize Grambling and Southern fans are close friends, as well as relatives. Bayou Classic offers a splendid history for fans, friends, and those who want to know more about this special game.
The pentathlon, comprising competition in the discus, javelin, long jump, sprint, and wrestling, was hailed as the ultimate test of athletic versatility and remained a staple of the ancient Greek Olympic Games, Crown Games and Pan-Hellenic festivals for 1,200 years. Still, there is little scholarly consensus over many major aspects of the event. This detailed exploration of the ancient pentathlon explores the nature of the spectacle, the method of determining a victor, the five sub-events of which the pentathlon is composed, and the order in which they occurred. It also chronicles the history of the event and its champions, the recognition of ancient pentathletes, and considers the event's 18-year modern Olympic history and its influence on its contemporary counterpart, the decathalon. A record book and glossary complete this fresh look at one of the ancient world's most renowned sporting competitions.
Five times each week over the past several decades, sports fans in New Orleans began their mornings by reading local sportswriter Peter Finney. Finney's newspaper columns -- entertaining, informative, and inspiring -- connected New Orleans readers to the world of sports, for nearly 70 years. From a career total of 15,000 articles, this book offers a prime selection of the very best of Finney's writing as well as an introduction from Peter Finney, Jr. Beginning his writing career as a college freshman at Loyola University, Finney added his distinctly poetic voice to the sports pages of the States-Item (1945--80) and the Times-Picayune (1980--2013). This impressive time span placed the reporter on the sidelines of the most iconic moments in Louisiana sports history. This collection includes Finney's account of Billy Cannon's 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss in 1959; Tom Dempsey's 1970 NFL-record 63-yard field goal; and the Saints' 31--17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl. His interviews and profiles covered nearly every major sports figure of his time: Ted Williams, Jesse Owens, Joe DiMaggio, Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Billy Cannon, Pete Maravich, Lee Trevino, Rusty Staub, Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning, Eddie Robinson, Doug Williams, Dale Brown, Billy Martin, Brett Favre, Nick Saban, Shaquille O'Neal, Mike Ditka, Sean Payton, Drew Brees, Sugar Ray Leonard, Skip Bertman, Les Miles, and Tom Benson, among many others. The riveting moments and fascinating characters portrayed in this volume will delight both hardcore sports enthusiasts and casual fans, in stories told with Finney's characteristic grace, humility, and wit.
In Inventing Baseball Heroes, Amber Roessner examines herocrafting in sports journalism through an incisive analysis of the work surrounding two of baseball's most enduring personalities -- Detroit Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb and New York Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson. While other scholars have demonstrated that the mythmakers of the Golden Age of Sports Writing (1920--1930) manufactured heroes out of baseball players for the mainstream media, Roessner probes further, with a penetrating look at how sportswriters compromised emerging professional standards of journalism as they crafted heroic tales that sought to teach American boys how to be successful players in the game of life. Cobb and Mathewson, respectively stereotyped as the game's sinner and saint, helped shape their public images in the mainstream press through their relationship with four of the most prominent sports journalists of the time: Grantland Rice, F. C. Lane, Ring Lardner, and John N. Wheeler. Roessner traces the interactions between the athletes and the reporters, delving into newsgathering strategies as well as rapport-building techniques, and ultimately revealing an inherent tension in objective sports reporting in the era. Inventing Baseball Heroes will be of interest to scholars of American history, sports history, cultural studies, and communication. Its interdisciplinary approach provides a broad understanding of the role sports journalists played in the production of American heroes.
At their basic level, sporting events are about numbers: wins and losses, percentages and points, shots and saves, clocks and countdowns. However, sports narratives quickly leave the realm of statistics. The stories we tell and retell, sometimes for decades, make sports dramatic and compelling. Just like any great drama, sports imply conflict, not just battles on the field of play, but clashes of personalities, goals, and strategies. In telling these stories, we create heroes, but we also create villains. This book is about the latter, those players who transgress norms and expectations and who we label the bad boys of sports. Using a variety of approaches, contributors examine the cultural, social, and rhetorical implications of sports villainy. Each chapter focuses on a different athlete and sport, questioning issues such as how notorious sports figures are defined to be bad within particular sports and within the larger culture, the role media play in creating antiheroes, fan reactions when players cross boundaries, and how those boundaries shift depending on the athlete's gender, sexuality, and race.