New Books Network

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
Evander Lomke and Martin Rowe, “Right Off the Bat: Cricket, Baseball, Literature & Life” (Paul Dry Books, 2011)
Last spring’s Cricket World Cup was a major global event. Estimates of the television audience for the final matches ranged from 400 million to one billion, while the website ESPNcricinfo.com had an average audience, throughout the entire 43-day tournament, of 72,000 people per minute. But for most American sports fans,... Read More
Tony Collins, “A Social History of English Rugby Union” (Routledge, 2009)
Most modern sports have some creation myth that usually links them to an almost-sacred place of origin. Baseball has its Cooperstown. Golf its St. Andrews. Basketball its Springfield College. If you are a football fan, whether of the All Blacks or the Springboks, the Magpies or the Swans, the Longhorns... Read More