9780803260320

Body Politic: The Great American Sports Machine

Shields, David

ISBN 10: 0803260326 / 0-8032-6032-6
ISBN 13: 9780803260320
Publisher: Bison Books
Publication Date: 2007
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
Named one of the twenty-five best books of the year by the Seattle Times, 2004
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. (20080620)

Review:
In Body Politic: The Great American Sports Machine, critically acclaimed sportswriter, essayist, and novelist David Shields focuses on race and cultural relations, as observed in the media's portrayal and myth-building of sports, particularly professional basketball and baseball. Although no sustaining contention ties the chapters of the book together, Shields attempts to explain the place in popular American culture, as created and influenced by TV commentators and the figures themselves, of such known iconic quantities as: Howard Cosell, Phil Jackson, Charles Barkley, and Japanese baseball imports Ichiro Suzuki and Hideke Matsui. Also included are chapters on Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks and a principal owner of the Seattle SuperSonics; the perceived dichotomy between East Coast (hard) vs. West Coast (soft) athletes and teams; baseball players whose careers have ended because of tics that cause them to suddenly flub routine throws; a brief analysis of the most popular American sports films; and the tattoo culture of basketball and racial themes in its advertising.

The book mainly consists of Shields's musings on quotes from and about sports figures, which do not always support the matter-of-fact interpretations he would like us to believe. He (wisely) decrees: "whoever owns the story tells its meaning"--which leaves room for your own judgment and speculation on what was said, and meant, by the sources. Somewhat thin but entertaining nonetheless, Body Politic provides interesting, evocative material and food for thought on what professional sports, and star athletes, are all about. --Michael Ferch

Review

Review:
"[Shields] elucidates superbly the paradox of sports coverage: although feats of the body seem to defy language, sports is nonetheless 'imprisoned by its prevailing rhetoric.' The ambition in these piercing essays is to discern the reality behind the rhetoric." --Daniel G. Habib, Sports Illustrated

From the Author

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: University of Nebraska Press, Canada, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 214 x 138 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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. 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. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780803260320

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Shields, David
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Book Description: University of Nebraska Press, Canada, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 214 x 138 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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. 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. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780803260320

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Book Description: University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2007. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Bison Books Edition. 208 pages. Softcover. New book. SPORTS. 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. 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. "A thinking person's collection of sports essays. . . . The author is a mild, reflective man who suspects there is a strong element of resurrection and salvation in sports . . . and who can cobble together a fluid chapter out of sporting clichˇs: ten pages that sound either like wacky Shakespeare or a whole lot of ironic license plates tied end-to-end. Pensive and shrewd."ÑKirkus "[Shields] elucidates superbly the paradox of sports coverage: although feats of the body seem to defy language, sports is nonetheless 'imprisoned by its prevailing rhetoric.' The ambition in these piercing essays is to discern the reality behind the rhetoric."ÑDaniel G. Habib, Sports Illustrated "Sweeping insights . . . an intellectual tour de force."ÑSteve Weinberg, St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Like Charles Barkley, Shields is outspoken, controversial, and never dull."ÑMinneapolis Star Tribune "Shields has carved out a singular place for himself as the poet of sports writing."ÑRegina Hackett, Seattle Post-Intelligencer "[Shields is] one of the most necessary, if discomfiting, commentators on American sports today. In this collection of slyly observant, personally inflected essays, he patiently lays out the various elements of athletic myth that come wrapped seamlessly around other signature American obsessionsÑmoney, celebrity, self-reliance and, most of all, race."ÑChris Lehman, Washington Post (Key Words: David Shields, Robert Lipsyte, College Sports, Professional Sports). book. Bookseller Inventory # 81511X1

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