Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical Commentary, 1980-1999

Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical Commentary, 1980-1999

Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical Commentary, 1980-1999

Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical Commentary, 1980-1999

Synopsis

This guide to the available literature on sports in American culture during the last two decades of the 20th century is a companion to Jack Higg's Sports: A Reference Guide (Greenwood, 1982). The types of individual or team sports included in this volume include those that are viewed as physical contests engaged in for physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological fulfillment. With a focus on books alone, chapters review the available literature regarding sports and each concludes with a bibliography. Academic journals likely to contain articles on the topics discussed are listed at the end of each chapter. Twelve chapters discuss sports and American history, business and law, education, ethnicity and race, gender, literature, philosophy and religion, popular culture, psychology, science and technology, sociology and world history.

This reference and guide to further research will appeal to scholars of popular culture and sports. An index and two appendixes are included, one listing important dates in American sports from 1980 through 2000 and one listing sports halls of fame, museums, periodicals, and websites.

Excerpt

The problem with writing a book entitled Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical Commentary, 1980–1999 is that it is hard to establish its scope and limitations. One wants to include every book and article that might be of value to any student of sport. Yet, even a discussion of the material produced within the last year could take up the entire book. It was necessary, therefore, to determine which items would be discussed in the text of the work, which ones would simply be listed in the bibliographies, and which would be left out altogether. In doing this, I have evaluated each book according to the following criteria: the substantive quality of the information presented, its timeliness and significance, whether or not it is the product of solid research and documentation, and the quality of the writing and overall presentation. Naturally, not all of the books rated highly in each category. A novel included in the sports literature chapter, for instance, might not have been the product of extensive research, but it would certainly have to be well crafted. Likewise, a book on the influence of new technologies on sport might be a bit dry, but it would have to be timely and meticulously researched.

The principal focus of this book is American sports, but I did include a chapter on sport and world history. In addition, I tried whenever possible to include works written in countries other than the United States. Because the audience for this book is thought to be predominantly English speaking, nearly all of the works profiled are written in English. Regrettably, this leaves out many of the influential works penned in other languages over the last two decades. Admittedly, this is a drawback. However, space and language limitations prevented me from including such texts. Otherwise, I believe that the twelve chapters that comprise this edition represent the most important topic areas in sport studies. In addition, while I could not include every book that might have been appropriate for each chapter, I think that the generalist, the beginning scholar, and even the specialist will find enough good information for each topic to make the book a useful research tool.

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