Body Politic: The Great American Sports Machine

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U of Nebraska Press, Nov 1, 2007 - Sports & Recreation - 193 pages
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In Body Politic, David Shields looks at contemporary America and its mythology through the lens of professional and college sports. The result is an unusually insightful and provocative book about an empire in denial. Shields relentlessly examines the way we tell our sports stories (both fictional and nonfictional), considers the kinds of athletes we choose as heroes, and delineates the lessons and values we glean from sports. He explores the intricate and telling relationships between players and coaches, black and white players, immigrant and native players, male and female players, players and broadcasters, players and fans, and players and advertisers. In the process, he shows us the stories we Americans tell ourselves about the kind of people we believe ourselves to be.
 

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Contents

A LONG PROLOGUE
1
ON THE NEED TO CONNECT WITH SOMETHING LARGER THAN YOURSELF
23
FAIRYTALE OF REINVENTION AND ESCAPE
40
WORDS CANT BEGIN TO DESCRIBE WHAT IM FEELING
55
HEAVEN IS A PLAYGROUND
65
FANDOM
79
HISTORY OF AMERICA 34
83
HOW IT FEELS TO BE A PROBLEM
96
MYTHS OF PLACE
106
A LITTLE EURO TRASHTALK
116
BEING ICHIRO
121
MATSUI AMONG THE AMERICANS
136
BRING THE PAIN
144
BEING RANDOM IS THE KEY TO LIFE
161
AN EPILOGUE
178
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About the author (2007)

David Shields is a professor of English at the University of Washington and the author of seven previous books, including Heroes: A Novel and Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season, both available in Bison Books editions. Robert Lipsyte, a longtime sports and city columnist for the New York Times, is the author of sixteen books, including most recently the novel Raiders Night.

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