More Than Just a Game: Sports in American Life since 1945

By Kathryn Jay | Go to book overview

Introduction

In modern American society, sports are far more than just a game. This is made abundantly clear by the sheer number of sports-related metaphors that dot the English language and are "brought into play" across a wide swath of public life. When politicians debate the question of affirmative action for minorities, both sides speak of a level playing field. Some teachers want to raise the bar in testing, but many of their students would rather punt on taking exams. Good corporate managers acknowledge the need to regularly touch base with their subordinates in order to ensure employees don't drop the ball when working with a client. In any arena, a poor quality product or a poor effort is bush league, while a top earner is an all-star and a rank beginner a rookie. We admire people who can't be counted out, those who get up off the mat and try again despite adversity, but we also encourage our friends to know when it's time to hang 'em up. In a different realm, adolescent males yearn to get beyond first base in their sexual explorations and dream of scoring with beautiful women.

Sports saturate our culture as well as our language. By the end of the last century, Americans had spent millions

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More Than Just a Game: Sports in American Life since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Columbia Histories of Modern American Life ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1.Sports, the American Way 9
  • 2.An Athletic Cold War 45
  • 3.A Brave New World 79
  • 4.Making Sense of the Sixties 113
  • 5.Walking the Picket Line and Fighting for Rights 146
  • 6.Competing an the Open Market 180
  • 7.High-Priced Heroes Ea Elabal 217
  • Notes 243
  • Bibliography 257
  • Index 269
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