by Mark Dyreson
University of Illinois Press, 1998
Paper: 978-0-252-06654-2 | Cloth: 978-0-252-02349-1
Library of Congress Classification GV706.35.D97 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.0973


Sport dominates television and the mass media. Politics and business are a-bustle with sports metaphors. Endorsements by athletes sell us products. "Home run," "slam dunk," and the rest of the vocabulary of sport color daily conversation. Even in times of crisis and emergency, the media reports the scores and highlights. 

Marky Dyreson delves into how our obsession with sport came into being with a close look at coverage of the Olympic Games between 1896 and 1912. How people reported and consumed information on the Olympics offers insight into how sport entered the heart of American culture as part of an impetus for social reform. Political leaders came to believe in the power of sport to revitalize the "republican experiment." Sport could instill a new sense of national identity that would forge a new sense of community and a healthy political order while at the same time linking America's intellectual and power elite with the experiences of the masses.

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