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
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