New Books Network

Jennifer Ring, “Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball” (University of Illinois Press, 2009)
It’s October. In the American sports calendar, that means it’s time for the baseball playoffs. My team, the Minnesota Twins, wasn’t even close this year, going from first place last year to the cellar this year. But I gained some measure of consolation last week in watching A-Rod strike out... Read More
Dave Zirin, “The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World” (Haymarket Books, 2011)
There are beautiful sports photos, and dramatic sports photos. There are sports photos that are funny, and others that are poignant. There are photos that capture athletic brilliance, and tenacity, and passion. But there are few images from the modern history of sports that have transcended the games, photos that... Read More
Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, “The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany” (University of California Press, 2010)
This past summer Germany hosted the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The 32 matches drew more than 800,000 fans, while the total number of foreign tourists visiting Germany increased by nine per cent over the previous summer. The German government’s commissioner for tourism proudly declared that the success of the... Read More
Scott Brooks, “Black Men Can’t Shoot” (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
With the NBA in the midst of a labor disagreement, players from the world’s premier basketball league are scattering in different directions to maintain their skills (and get paid). This past summer, a number of NBA players returned to their roots, so to speak, by playing in summer leagues in... Read More
Allen Guttmann, “Sports and American Art from Benjamin West to Andy Warhol” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011)
When I was a kid, I used to pore over an illustrated history of American sports that I had received as a birthday gift. The oversized, hardcover book featured some of the iconic images of 20th-century sports: Lou Gehrig standing humbly at home plate on his day of tribute, teammates... Read More
Andrew Morris, “Colonial Project, National Game: A History of Baseball in Taiwan” (University of California Press, 2010)
My Little League baseball career spanned the late Seventies and early Eighties. During those summers, I always set aside the afternoon in August when the championship game of the Little League World Series was broadcast on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” There was a thrill to watching kids my own... Read More
Steve Bloomfield, “Africa United: How Football Explains Africa” (Canongate Books, 2010)
A couple of days ago I had an unusual experience. I was staying in a hotel in Kampala, with a stunning view of the southern reaches of the Ugandan capital and the northern edge of Lake Victoria. It was the weekend, and in Africa that usually means football (soccer, to... Read More
John Eric Goff, “Gold Medal Physics: The Science of Sports” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2009)
The instructor of my freshman physics course fit the stereotype of a physics professor: unkempt white hair, black glasses case in the breast pocket of his short-sleeved shirt, thick German accent, and a tendency to mumble to himself while mulling over formula on the chalkboard. I was not his most... Read More