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Examines sports in the twentieth century, from the early days of professional leagues to modern championships, and discusses the impact of sports on the social and cultural history of the United States.
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Volumes in this sociohistorical treatment of professional and amateur athletics in America and its influence on American culture are organized by time period. Volumes 1 and 2 each cover 20 years (1900-1919 and 1920-1939); volumes 3 through 7, 10 years; and the final volume goes from 1990 to 2003.
Each thin volume--none more than 110 pages--has the same series foreword and an introduction that sets sports-related events within the social and historical context of the period. For instance, volume 1 (1900-1919) discusses the shift from an agrarian society with a long workday to a more urban society with a shorter workday that begins to leave leisure time for spectator sports. Volume 8 (1990-2003) discusses the expansion of women in professional sports and the billions of dollars of revenue going to sports franchises and players.
The volumes are divided into chapters, one for each year. The sporting events and personalities are discussed, and sidebars highlight important milestones. A number of black-and-white photos break up the text, and the essays themselves are well written and accessible. Each volume includes a volume-specific index and several pages of resources as well as identical lists of American sports history resources and sports history Web sites. There is no set index. Through no fault of anyone involved in the set's creation, one fact is already out of date: in volume 1 it is noted that the 1918 World Series has gained immortality "because neither of its contestants, the Cubs or the Red Sox, have won a World Series since."
At first glance the format and size of the volumes give the impression of a younger children's set, but the narrative is written for grades 6 through 12. The set is suitable for school and public library collections and could be cataloged for the circulating collection. Jerry Carbone
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Grade 6-10 - This set meets its stated goal of showing how sport offers insight into America's history and culture. Each volume begins with a theme for the decade such as war, politics, or civil rights and shows how social change affected athletics, or, the opposite. The books face controversies head on, such as the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis (considered a "sporting low"), minorities in sports, drug abuse, and women's fight for equality. A wealth of information is included in the five to eight pages devoted to each year. College, professional, amateur, and Olympic sports are covered, and golf, powerboats, auto racing, boxing, swimming, tennis, and running, along with the major sports, are given ample space. Readability is aided by icons at the start of each entry indicating the sport and bold-print text boxes that offer insights into personalities, rules, or highlights for the year. The 30 to 40 captioned black-and-white photos in each volume are informative. A caption in the 1900-1919 volume has two boxers' names mixed up, and a line on the same page sends readers to the wrong page for a related entry. However, these are minor flaws. This well-written, well-researched resource will be useful in collections needing sports history. Individual volumes may be purchased, but libraries will want the entire set. - Michael McCullough, Byron-Bergen Middle School, Bergen, NY
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Book Description Facts on File, 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110816052336