Cover image for Sport in American culture : from Ali to X-games
Sport in American culture : from Ali to X-games
Duncan, Joyce, 1946-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiv, 479 pages ; 29 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV706.2 .D86 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
GV706.2 .D86 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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A unique and timely exploration of the cultural impact of sport on American society, including lifestyles, language, and thinking.

* 400 A-Z entries covering a wealth of topics, including sports heroes, artifacts of sport, culture of consumption, racial discrimination, and gender

* 200+ distinguished contributors, including academics and professionals from a wide variety of fields

* Lavish illustrations and photographs support the subject areas and examples covered

* Extensive bibliographic information with individual reading suggestions for further study

Author Notes

Joyce D. Duncan is managing editor of the Sport Literature Association and founding editor of Arete , an online discussion group for sport literature enthusiasts, and a faculty member at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, where she teaches service-learning.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

This volume does not attempt to duplicate what other sport reference guidebooks do: it is not a fact-based, statistical, biographical encyclopedia. What Sport in American Culture 0 does is provide in its 400 entries long essays written by 200-plus contributors on the impact that sports have had on the cultural life of America. The alphabetically arranged entries cover sports heroes; commercial enterprises, such as the sports apparel industry; gender and civil rights issues; gambling and other scandals; children in sports; and sports in literature and film, to name just a few of the topics. Entries for individual types of sports, such as basketball and bicycling, and for individuals, such as Hank Aaron and Lance Armstrong, focus on demonstrating how "sport reflects the larger culture in unique and important ways." Entries contain bibliographies as well as see also0 references. A number of illustrations and photographs help support the information provided in the essays and make this resource more accessible to younger readers. A 20-page bibliography and a detailed name and subject index complete the volume. Not all of the information in the book is up-to-date. For example, the entry on Marge Schott's death in March 2004 apparently occurred too late to be included. Since the strength of this particular encyclopedia is its emphasis on the relationship between sports and American culture, it is unique among sports reference sources and is a recommended purchase for public library reference or academic library collections. It would also be useful in high-school libraries with large sports collections. --Jerry Carbone Copyright 2005 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Even those who aren't sports fans can't deny how much sport is a part of our culture. Thus, it comes as no surprise that much, often of a scholarly nature, has been written on the subject. This book's encyclopedic format-featuring more than 400 short articles from approximately 150 contributors-makes it perfectly accessible to lay readers. Editor Duncan (managing editor, the Sport Literature Assn.; Heirs to Misfortune) has amassed entries ranging from Wild West Shows to National Basketball Association and from Babe Ruth to Babe Didrikson Zaharias. In any such work, we can quibble about what is included and excluded. Why is there an article about Bear Bryant and not Adolph Rupp? Why the Indianapolis 500 but not the Kentucky Derby? Perhaps the biggest question might be in regard to the currency of the articles: the one on professional wrestling alludes to Vince McMahon's Extreme Football League, which folded in 2001; and the one on Michael Jordan gives his retirement date as 1999, whereas he came out of retirement to play two more seasons before quitting most recently in 2003. Nevertheless, an amazing range of individuals and subjects is covered here. Bottom Line This fun and thought-provoking resource offers an extensive bibliography for further study. Despite the cost, it is recommended for all public libraries.-Jim Burns, Jacksonville P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-As a cultural history of sport, this book is a keeper. From "Hank" Aaron to "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, it examines people, events, organizations, and ideas that have affected or altered our culture. While the entries are of varying styles and levels of difficulty, all maintain a focus on the impact of sport on our society. Apparel, art, idiomatic expressions, scandals, martial arts films, curling, X Games, and humor are just a few of the topics addressed. The signed entries range in length from several paragraphs to a few pages; each one concludes with see-also references and suggestions for further reading. Dozens of average- to high-quality captioned black-and-white photographs add interest. A well-organized, accessible resource.-Janice C. Hayes, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Choice Review

Duncan (East Tennessee State Univ.) has compiled contributed essays that explore the intermingling and interdependence of sport and American culture, historical and contemporary. Concentrating on the industry of sport, an editorial board selected an admittedly restricted number of topics intended to give readers and fans a broad look at the impact of this industry on Americans' daily lives and their collective cultural ancestry. Essays lean toward larger concepts ("Cartoons and Sport," "Fan Behavior," "Homosexuality and Sport," "Wild West Shows"), while narrower topics (famous athletes or teams) focus less on biography than on the impact of individual athletes on American culture. For example, the essay about Roberto Clemente concentrates on his humanitarian work rather than his career. The essays are short, many less than a page, with suggestions for further reading; the volume includes cross-references and an index. The approach is unique, and the essays raise pertinent issues concerning not only sport but also American society in general. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates. A. Courtney Indiana University