Beer and Circus (Paperback)

How Big-Time College Sports Has Crippled Undergraduate Education

By Murray Sperber

Holt Paperbacks, 9780805068115, 352pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2001

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (9/1/2000)

List Price: 22.99*
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In this fascinating book, Sperber uses original research culled from students, faculty, and administrators around the country, to argue that what universities offer instead of a meaningful undergraduate education is a meager and dangerous substitute: the party scene surrounding college sports that Sperber calls "beer and circus" and which serves to keep the students happy while tuition dollars keep rolling in. He explodes cherished myths about college sports, showing, for instance, that contrary to popular belief the money coming in to universities from sports programs never makes it to academic departments.

Sperber's profound re-evaluation of college sports and higher education comes straight out of today's headlines and opens our eyes to a generation of students deprived of the education they deserve.

Murray Sperber has been acknowledged for years as the country's leading authority on college sports and their role in American culture. In the wake of Indiana University's decision to fire head basketball coach Bobby Knight last year, Sperber was in constant demand across the country--on television, radio, and print media--to comment on the profound and tragic impact of big-time intercollegiate athletics on higher education.

About the Author

Murray Sperber is a regular media commentator on college sports. A professor of English and American studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, his previous books include College Sports, Inc.; Onward to Victory: The Creation of Modern College Sports; and Shake Down the Thunder: The Creation of Notre Dame Football.

Praise For Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports Has Crippled Undergraduate Education

“It is hard to read Sperber's book without having a sinking feeling about the future of American culture. He has managed to document our national decline in painstaking detail, and the result is an admirable, timely and profoundly disturbing work.” —The New York Times Book Review

“The case [Sperber] marshalls against these places--'schools' scarcely seems the right word--is overwhelming, a devastating condemnation of 'higher education' in America.” —Washington Post Book World

“'Beer and Circus' does a terrific job of illustrating how collegiate sports has shielded the decline in education from public scrutiny. . . .[I]t is a powerful and important book.” —The Chicago Tribune