American National Pastimes - A History

Front Cover
Mark Dyreson, Jaime Schultz
Routledge, Apr 14, 2016 - Sports & Recreation - 288 pages

When the colonies that became the USA were still dominions of the British Empire they began to imagine their sporting pastimes as finer recreations than even those enjoyed in the motherland. From the war of independence and the creation of the republic to the twenty-first century, sporting pastimes have served as essential ingredients in forging nationhood in American history.

This collection gathers the work of an all-star team of historians of American sport in order to explore the origins and meanings of the idea of national pastimes—of a nation symbolized by its sports. These wide-ranging essays analyze the claims of particular sports to national pastime status, from horse racing, hunting, and prize fighting in early American history to baseball, basketball, and football more than two centuries later. These essays also investigate the legal, political, economic, and culture patterns and the gender, ethnic, racial, and class dynamics of national pastimes, connecting sport to broader historical themes.

American National Pastimes chronicles how and why the USA has used sport to define and debate the contours of nation.

This book was published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.


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Series Editors Foreword
The Genealogy of an Idea
The USAs Oldest
The Rise Fall Rise and Fall
The Many
A Fiction Whose Time Is Past
American Football Becomes the Dominant Intercollegiate
The Imminent Demise
American Pastimes
Race Sport
Does Law Aid Abet or Hinder National
National Sporting Pastimes Spectacles of Sporting Otherness
A Brief Taxonomy of Sports that Were Not Quite American

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About the author (2016)

Mark Dyreson is Professor of Kinesiology and History at the Pennsylvania State University, an academic editor of the International Journal of the History of Sport, a former president of the North American Society for Sport History, a fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, and the author of several books and numerous essays on the history of sport.

Jaime Schultz is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Women’s Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of two books and multiple essays on sport, history, and culture.

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