Making the American Team (Paperback)

Sport, Culture, and the Olympic Experience (Sport and Society)

By Mark Dyreson

University of Illinois Press, 9780252066542, 288pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 1997

List Price: 33.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


      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
        to be?
      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