Sports in World History

Sports in World History

Sports in World History

Sports in World History

Synopsis

This lively and clear survey provides a wide-ranging overview of the history of modern sports, covering such topics as:* why human beings are athletes* how the major modern sports came about and how they spread throughout the world with the help of enthusiastic individuals, sports organizations, the YMCA and the Olympic movement* discussions of some of the most popular of the 300 modern world sports including: soccer, basketball, baseball, cricket, table tennis, tennis, Formula One racing, golf, swimming, skiing, volleyball, track and field, boxing, judo and cycling* the history of both western and non-western sports in depth, as well as the increasing globalization of sports today* the challenges facing the world of sports today, such as commercialization and the use of performance-enhancing drugs.Sports historians and cultural studies students will all find this book gives a fascinating and invaluable insight into the world of sport through history.

Excerpt

Upon meeting someone for the first time at a social gathering one of the initial questions asked is, "What do you do?" The question is an attempt to establish some sort of identification, or connection, or perhaps a pecking order. It refers to economic work. In the past 25 years when this has happened to me I have answered, "I teach at a university." The inevitable follow-up question then was, "Well, what do you teach?" I would answer, "I teach the history of sport," pause, and carefully observe the reaction. Almost always the response was either, "Um," revealing little interest, or "Oh!" showing surprise and enthusiasm. The course of the conversation was then determined.

Students, academics, professional people, or others, seem to be divided into those who possess an almost inborn interest in sports, and those who don't. Either sports are seen as trivial and insignificant, or they are looked upon with curiosity and attention. People often read the sports pages of a newspaper and watch sporting events on television without ever thinking about their interest. They just enjoy the experience. They are the ones who say "Oh!", and this book is written for them.

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