ABOUT THIS BOOK
One day in front of the television
would convince any alien that the entirety of American culture is built
around sports. Politics and business are abustle with sports metaphors
and endorsements by athletes. "Home runs," "bottom of the
ninth," "fourth and ten," "slam dunk," and similar
phrases litter the daily vocabulary. No matter how dire the news, sports
will be reported as usual. How did this single-minded fascination come
Mark Dyreson locates the invasion
of sport at the heart of American culture at the turn of the century.
It was then that social reformers and political leaders believed that
sport could revitalize the "republican experiment," that a new
sense of national identity could forge a new sense of community and a
healthy political order as it would serve to link America's thinking classes
with the experiences of the masses. Nowhere was this better exemplified
than in American accounts of the Olympic Games held between 1896 and 1912.
In connecting sport to American history and culture, Dyreson has stepped
up to the plate and hit one out of the park.
A volume in the series
Sport and Society, edited by Benjamin G. Rader and Randy Roberts