New Books Network

Today we are joined by Stephen Hardy, retired professor of kinesiology and affiliate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, and Andrew...

Today we are joined by Stephen Hardy, retired professor of kinesiology and affiliate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, and Andrew Holman, professor of history at and the director of Canadian studies at Bridgewater State University.  Hardy and Holman are the co-authors of Hockey: A Global History (University of Illinois Press, 2018). In our conversation, we discussed the popularization of the Montreal game in the 19th century; the rise of divergent styles of hockey in Canada, the USA, and Europe; and the increasing commercialization of hockey.

In Hockey, Hardy and Holman offer a comprehensive and engaging history of the fastest game from its origins in a series of stick based contests, including early hockey, bandy, and polo through to the development of our contemporary commercial hockey best exhibited by the NHL and KHL.

Their work offers an innovative periodization that gives order to the tensions and contradictions inherent in the disorderly expansion and contraction of the global game. They chose to concentrate on the convergences and divergences of the hockey world beginning with the codification and spread of the Montreal game in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Their second section addresses the expansion of hockey beyond Montreal throughout the rest of Canada, the northern US, and Europe. The third part of Hockey covers 1920 until 1972, a period of  divergence in which American, Canadian, and European hockey leagues developed unique cultural characteristic expressed through national rules and styles. The final section of the book analyses the convergence hockey through the lens of globalization and commercialization.

Hardy and Holman’s work will appeal to scholars interested in the spread of hockey but more broadly to people interested in how different cultural products diffuse through the creation of global networks.


Keith Rathbone is a lecturer at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.  He researches twentieth-century French social and cultural history. His manuscript, entitled A Nation in Play: Physical Culture, the State, and Society during France’s Dark Years, 1932-1948, examines physical education and sports in order to better understand civic life under the dual authoritarian systems of the German Occupation and the Vichy Regime.  If you have a title to suggest for this podcast, please contact him at keith.rathbone@mq.edu.au.