New Books Network

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
Todd Denault, “The Greatest Game: The Montreal Canadiens, the Red Army, and the Night that Saved Hockey” (McClelland & Stewart, 2010)
When sports fans list the greatest games, they talk about close contests, outstanding performances, and dramatic finishes. Think of game six of the 1975 World Series between the Red Sox and the Reds, or Boston College’s 47-45 win over the University of Miami in 1984, capped by Doug Flutie’s miraculous... Read More
Lee Congdon, “Baseball and Memory: Winning, Losing, and Remembrance of Things Past” (St. Augustine’s Press, 2011)
“Isn’t it funny?” once mused Buck O’Neil, the sage of Negro League baseball. “Everybody remembers going to their first baseball game with their father. They might not remember going to their first day of school, . . . or their first Thanksgiving dinner. But they always remember going to the... Read More