From Publishers Weekly
Taking the insidious influence of sports in culture as a green flag, Jay (an assistant professor of history at Barnard College) drives her thesis through several hairpin turns until she crosses the finish line triumphantly. Jay expertly details the development of sports in America from the almost complete decimation of professional baseball during World War II to the evolution of leisure sports such as golf and the chaotic world of drugs and cheating scandals marking professional sports in the 1990s. In the 1940s, sports provided the language and the models for defining both democratic society and masculinity while at the same time confronting segregationnot always successfully, observes Jayin the sports world. By the 1980s, athletes played out Cold War tensions on the field, the hockey rink, and the basketball court as the quality of sporting teams supposedly symbolized the political structure of different countries, e.g., the Soviets were brutes and the U.S. athletes were gentlemanly Horatio Algers striving to bring peace to the playing fields. By the end of the 20th century, Jay points out, several sports retained the aura of fair play and democracy of the 1940snotably NASCARwhile others endured turmoil and scandal. Jay's excitingsometimes breathlesscommentary on the evolution of sports in late 20th-century America touches all the bases, scoring point after point with her lucid insights and evocative prose.
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Jay's exciting -- sometimes breathless -- commentary on the evolution of sports in late 20th-century America touches all the bases, scoring point after point with her lucid insights and evocative prose.
[Jay] traces the complex evolution of sports in American society over the course of the past sixty years, explaining how and why the major sports... have become a multibillion-dollar industry, as well as a major influence on and reflection of American society.
Jay's historical and sociological treatment offers many important details on women in sports... This would be a good textbook for an undergraduate sport history class. Recommended for academic libraries.
More Than Just a Game will be an important source for historians and sociologists in years ahead...
(Lawrence S. Connor Indianapolis Star
Her judgments are sharp, her insights astute, and her breadth remarkable...Highly recommended.
Dr. Jay has produced a useful and thoughtful volume... it offers much insight into, and raises important questions about, recent developments in American Sport.
(Richard C. Crepeau The Journal of American History
A valuable and necessary read... Riveting.
(Terry Martin Aethlon