New Books Network

Dennis Frost, “Seeing Stars: Sports Celebrity, Identity, and Body Culture in Modern Japan” (Harvard UP, 2011)
In the celebrity firmament that circles around us, sports stars are among the brightest lights. Kobe, Tiger, Messi, Márta, Sachin, and Serena can be recognized from most points on the globe.But other stars are visible only in certain lands: Yuna Kim, Barbora Strycova, Sebastien Chabal, Andres Guardado, Israel Folau, Buster... Read More
Randy Roberts, “Joe Louis: Hard Times Man” (Yale UP, 2010)
“I’m sure if it wasn’t for Joe Louis,” acknowledged Jackie Robinson, “the color line in baseball would not have been broken for another ten years.” To Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis was an inspiration and an idol. “I just give lip service to being the greatest,” said Ali in 1981, after... Read More
The New Books in Sports 2011 Year-End Book List
I am a fan of the end-of-the-year, double-size issues of magazines–full of photographs, lists of the best and worst of the year, notable quotes, and vignettes about the year’s events. This week’s podcast follows in the spirit of those year-end special issues. The episode is thicker than usual, but it... Read More
Andrei Markovits, “Gaming the World: How Sports Are Shaping Global Politics and Culture” (Princeton UP, 2010)
“We live in the age of globalization, with the interconnection of markets, technology, and cultures making the world a smaller place.” Sure.Tell that to the guys on my local sports radio show. For them, the world is bounded by the Big Ten and the North Division of the National Football... Read More
Ronald Reng, “A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke” (Yellow Jersey Press, 2011)
On November 10, 2009, Robert Enke stepped in front of an express train at a crossing in the German village of Eilvese. At age 32, Robert left behind a young family: he and his wife, Teresa, had just adopted a baby girl only six months earlier. And Robert was also... Read More
David Potter, “The Victor’s Crown: A History of Ancient Sport from Homer to Byzantium” (Oxford UP, 2011)
The Victor’s Crown brings to vivid life the signal role of sport in the classical world. Ranging over a dozen centuries–from Archaic Greece through to the late Roman and early Byzantine empires–David Potter’s lively narrative shows how sport, to the ancients, was not just a dim reflection of religion and... Read More
Jorge Iber, “Latinos in U.S. Sport: A History of Isolation, Cultural Identity, and Acceptance” (Human Kinetics, 2011)
The 107th World Series is underway, with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers vying for the championship of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals’ star, Albert Pujols, has already entered the record books, joining Hall-of-Famers Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson as the only players ever to hit three home... Read More