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What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States Paperback – July 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1931859202 ISBN-10: 1931859205

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931859205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931859202
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Popular sportswriter and commentator Dave Zirin is editor of The Prince George's Post (Maryland) and writes the weekly column "Edge of Sports" (edgeofsports.com). He is a senior writer at basketball.com. Zirin's writing has also appeared in The Source, Common Dreams, College Sporting News, CounterPunch, Alternet, International Socialist Review, Black Sports Network, War Times, San Francisco Bay View and Z Magazine.

More About the Author

Dave Zirin was named one of the "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World" by Utne Magazine. He writes about the politics of sports for the Nation magazine, and is their first sports writer in 150 years of existence. Zirin is also the host of Sirius XM satellite's popular weekly show, "Edge of Sports Radio," as well as a columnist for SLAM Magazine, the Progressive, and a regular op-ed writer for the Los Angeles Times. Zirin's previous books are What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States; Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports; The Muhammad Ali Handbook; and A People's History of Sports in the United States.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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This book should be read whether you're a sports fan or not.
I. Wazdere
Regardless, this book is a classic in discussing the relationship between sports, politics, oppression and resistance.
Capital One Visa Platinum
He does this with a real love for the game, but recognizing that many have distorted and perverted it's purity.
Jedidiah Palosaari

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kall VINE VOICE on July 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm not a sports fan. I have sports ADD, but I love this book. Think of it as a People's history of Sports, like Howard Zinn's book, People's history of America.

Dave Zirin, a sports commentator for Air America Radio, takes you through some of the history of how sports and sports stars have helped change America for the better, about the integration of all-white, racist baseball, about how Mohammed Ali helped move the cause of African Americans forward...

I started browsing this book out of curiosity and discovered it was intensely fascinating and moving, that at times, it touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

I've become a Dave Zirin fan.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Diane Fairbank on July 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Dave Zirin writes with a piercing wit, a passion for justice, and an encyclopedic knowledge of sports and figures of resistance. He has a great way of imparting information--you learn as you laugh. A zinger that you wish you'd thought of on just about every page! Read the blurbs and you can't not read the book. I hope very much that Jon Stewart books him ASAP.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By DC Teacher on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
...so I know that this is one of the finest books of essays I've read in the past few years. One can only wonder why this book has not been written before. Zirin makes it apparent that he had no shortage of material from which to cull these informative, socially conscious, and well-crafted essays. To whom would they not appeal? Sports fans, the politically aware, athletes--young and old, history buffs, teachers, and avid non-fiction readers will all find something in this book to interest and inform. To live in this sports-obsessed society and not be aware of the way resistance, militantism, social awareness, and social activism have played a part in sports is possible, but, with the publication of this book, simply unnecessary now.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John Green on July 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Finally! A sportswriter for the rest of us: Ordinary folk angry at Bush, upset over Iraq, disgusted by racism...and always rooting for the home team.

Jackie Robinson! John Carlos! Barry Bonds! Etan Thomas! Toni Smith! They're all here and they're all part of sports and resistance in the United States. Muhammad Ali, too...just don't call him Cassius Clay or you'll make Zirin's baby cry.

The only problem with this book is that more people aren't reading it. Zirin makes politics fun and drags sports back from the brink of corporate oblivion. The laughs alone are worth at least ten bucks.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey W. Bailey on July 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Zirin tells it like it is. He has an amazing ability to combine love of the game with hard-hitting commentary. Racism, corporate greed, moral hypocrites, and two-bit hustlers (err, politicians), Zirin takes them all on, sparing no punches. And he does it with a wit that will keep you rolling (even his acknowledgements page cracked me up. I hope someday we can see the deleted erotic references to Dick Cheney).

Zirin tells the forgotten history of sports: of Lester Rodney's campaign to desegregate pro sports (in the 1930s!), the history behind John Carlos and Tommy Smith's raised fists at the 1968 Olympic Games (did you know the white athlete standing next to them ran into the stands to grab a Black Solidarity pin when he saw what was happening?), and brings it up to the present with stories of althetes standing up for justice today. Zirin reminds us that athletes should be respected for their heads as much as their hearts.

In the process, he rekindled a love sports I haven't felt since I was a teenager watching the 6th game of the '86 series.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Roesch on July 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
There is absolutely nothing out there that compares to the analysis in this book. Being a sports fan and being pissed off at what this government is doing to people here and around the world is hard thing. This book makes me proud to both love sports but want to fight to change it, and the rest of the world.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Hatuxka on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The insight in this book is as electrifying as a two-out, game-winning home run in the "world" series. That we have actually been watching a culture war or culture Olympics taking place on the fields, in the rings, in the rinks and on the courts in this country and in the world that mirrored those in real life is brought out beautifully by Zirin. We have seen the agony of defeat and joy of victory and he recounts and reinterprets those outcomes in new ways. Like Bush's America, today's sports is a mindnumbing downpour of nonsense that despite all efforts by its bosses to control, still erupts with true revelations of the dysfunctional conditions of our society. Great writing, I read it in one sitting. A new voice in sports writing that should be heard more widely.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jason Crane on October 5, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're one of those folks who think professional athletes are dumb jocks who care about nothing but raking in cash, you need to open your eyes and expand your mind with Dave Zirin's fantastic book.

From football to baseball to soccer to tennis to boxing to the Olympics, Zirin digs into the history and shines a light into the dark corners that the major leagues would prefer remain unexplored. Zirin discusses racism, classism, sexism and homophobia, and also profiles uplifting examples of athletes fighting the power and speaking the truth.

We've all heard the stories about Ali, Jack Johnson, the Black Power moment at the 1968 Olympics. Those stories (with in-depth interviews and analysis) are in "What's My Name, Fool?" But Zirin goes way beyond the obvious to look at the labor movement in sports; the all-but-invisible retirement of one of the world's greatest soccer players; athletes risking it all by publicly resisting war; and much more.

If you're a sports fan, this book will expand your horizons. If you're not a sports fan, this book will give you someone to root for.
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