Heroes & Ballyhoo: How the Golden Age of the 1920s Transformed American Sports (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Potomac Books, Inc., Nov 30, 2009 - Sports & Recreation - 336 pages
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A handful of star athletes, along with their promoters and journalists, created America's sports entertainment industry during the 1920s, the Golden Age of American sports. The period had an extraordinary impact, profoundly changing individual sports, establishing the secular religion of sports and sports heroes, and helping bond disparate social and regional sectors of the country. It's when sports became a cornerstone of modern American life.

Heroes and Ballyhoo profiles the ten most prominent Golden Age heroes and describes their effect on sports and society. Babe Ruth saved baseball after the Black Sox Scandal. Boxer Jack Dempsey made the “sweet science” a respectable sport. Red Grange single-handedly set professional football on a path to eventual success. Knute Rockne helped transform college football from a game to a colossal enterprise. Bobby Jones changed golf into a spectator sport, and Walter Hagen sparked the first national interest in professional golf. Bill Tilden put tennis on the front of the sports section. Tennis player Helen Wills Moody joined swimmer Gertrude Ederle in empowering women athletes. Johnny Weissmuller astonished international swimming before becoming Tarzan.

The book also explores the ballyhoo artists—sportswriters, promoters, and press agents—who hyped the stars to a receptive public. Simultaneously, the spectators established themselves as the focus of popular sports. The personalities and events of the 1920s thus created today's entertainment conglomerate of heroes, promoters and advertisers, fans, arenas—and money. Sports as a profit center started with the Golden Age's heroes and PR artists, and the public's obsessive interest in sports helped shape America's emerging mass society. Heroes and Ballyhoo tells the story of what was both a symptom and a cause of modern America.
  

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Review: Heroes & Ballyhoo: How The Golden Age Of The 1920s Transformed American Sports

User Review  - Tim Wendel - Goodreads

We have everybody from Jack Dempsey to Babe Ruth to Red Grange to Bobby Jones and many more here, and somehow Michael keeps the action moving and the reader on track all the way through. Read full review

Contents

The Birth of Ballyhoo
1
The Early Years
13
The Curse of the Bambino
36
The Beginning of Spectator Tennis
60
The Haig Christens Professional Golf
83
From Olympic Champion to Tarzan
105
The Four Horsemen Ride Again
129
The Galloping Ghost KickStarts the NFL
153
A Team for the Ages
200
The Long Count
223
158 Straight Wins
248
The Grand Slam
272
14 Legends and Legacies
297
Selected Bibliography
303
Index
313
About the Author
319

Swimming to Stardom
177

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About the author (2009)

Michael K. Bohn's latest book, Money Golf: 600 Years of Bettin' on Birdies (Potomac Books, Inc., 2007), was one of Golf Digest's top golf books of 2007. A freelance writer, Bohn is the golf reporter for nineteen weeklies in Northern Virginia. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

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