Filled with insightful analysis and compelling arguments, this book considers the influence of sports on popular culture and spotlights the fascinating ways in which sports culture and American culture intersect.
Why did it take so long for soccer to take hold in the United States? Who is the NFL's best running back of all time? Why are Americans fascinated with mixed martial arts, extreme sports, and NASCAR? Why is race still an issue in professional sports more than half a century after integration?
This collection blends historical and popular culture perspectives in its analysis of the development of sports and sports figures throughout American history. American History through American Sports: From Colonial Lacrosse to Extreme Sports is unique in that it focuses on how each sport has transformed and influenced society at large, demonstrating how sports and popular culture are intrinsically entwined and the ways they both reflect larger societal transformations.
The essays in the book are wide-ranging, covering topics of interest for sports fans who enjoy the NFL and NASCAR as well as those who like tennis and watching the Olympics. Many topics feature information about specific sports icons and favorite heroes. Additionally, many of the topics' treatments prompt engagement by purposely challenging the reader to either agree or disagree with the author's analysis.
• Comprises original essays by noted sports historians, writers, and journalists
• Presents informed, unapologetic analysis that sheds light on controversial issues, such as race, doping, economics, and globalization
• Provides a comprehensive examination of sports history, from traditional fan favorites like baseball to newly-popular ones such as NASCAR, mixed martial arts, and extreme sports
• Illuminates the role of new media and the Internet in American sports