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Encyclopedia of World Sport: From Ancient Times to the Present Paperback – July 22, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Abridged edition (July 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195127781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195127782
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,655,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

You name it--from acrobatics to yachting, with stuff like boomerang throwing, gymkhana, jousting, korfball, and wushu in between--if it's a sport, it's in here. Of course, this thoroughly comprehensive and sophisticated reference is far more than a hymn to arcane competitions; the majors--baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf--all receive thoughtful and extensive treatment. Still, it's the breadth of the Encyclopedia of World Sport that turns a fascinating reference for the sports-curious and sports-obsessed into a truly staggering one.

Within each sport (more than 200 make the cut), individual entries vary in length and depth depending on popularity and/or importance, and for the major sports they are quite extensive. Yet most entries provide some information about history, rules, and cultural influences. Some even offer rudiments of how the games are played, though the "Encyclopedia" is certainly no how-to manual. Most importantly, the volume seeks to grasp the larger picture and import of games and competitions around the world; with entries on aggression, drug testing, law, ethics, media, environment, commercialization, spectators, literature, and even movies, it's a volume assembled to appeal as much to those interested in thinking about sports as to those who play them. Most of the contributors are academics, and at times the text reflects that--and illustrations, especially of the more obscure activities, would have only helped the effort--but that's a fair price to pay for a one-volume compendium that can place the wide world of sports quite literally in your hands. --Jeff Silverman

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up. This three-volume set promotes itself as the "most comprehensive historical and cross-cultural survey of sport ever published," and justifiably so. While not the first place to turn to for biographical information, statistics, records, and rules, this scholarly yet comprehensible resource does a solid job of chronicling the history and societal impact of various sports from around the world. Alphabetically arranged from Acrobatics to Yachting, the 250 signed entries range in length from 500 to 8000 words; each one is followed by a bibliography. Some sports are presented under more than one heading, e.g., baseball has entries under Baseball, Finnish; Baseball, Japanese; Baseball, Latin America; and Baseball, North American. There are also topical entries such as Aggression, Ethics, Ritual, Technology, and Violence. Cross-referencing is extensive. A number of sidebars, diagrams, and black-and-white photographs appear throughout. Appendixes include a 48-page compilation of all the bibliographies that appear in the set, a list of the 150 contributors, and an extensive index. This encyclopedia will be of great value to students and will also appeal to sports-minded leisure readers. The emphasis on the history and societal influence of athletics will keep the set from quickly becoming dated as is often the case with sports reference books that rely heavily on statistics, scores, and records.?Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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More About the Author

An intrepid solo traveler since age fourteen, always in love with books and global vistas, Karen has edited well-known reference works such as the Encyclopedia of Community and is the author of a number of popular environmental books, including The Armchair Environmentalist, which have been translated into French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai. She is CEO of Berkshire Publishing Group, which she cofounded in 1998.

Karen grew up in Minnesota and in the Silicon Valley in California. After graduating with a degree in literature from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, she went to London and worked as a nanny and chauffeur before starting her publishing career at Blackwell Scientific Publications and Faber & Faber, where she was editorial assistant to Valerie (Mrs. T. S.) Eliot on the first (and so far only) volume of the T. S. Eliot letters (1988). Her memoir of work on the T. S. Eliot letters, "Dear Mrs. Eliot," was the cover story in the U.K. newspaper the Guardian's Review magazine, 29 January 2005.