Originally published in 1978, From Ritual to Record was one of the first books to recognize the importance of sports as a lens on the fundamental structure of societies. In this reissue, Guttmann emphasizes the many ways that modern sports, dramatically different from the sports of previous eras, have profoundly shaped contemporary life.
Politics has always been an integral part of the Olympics--not an occasional intruder in the form of a boycott, protest, or act of terrorism. In this probing social history, distinguished by a lively mix of journalism and scholarship, Allen Guttmann discusses the intended and actual meaning of the modern Olympic Games, from 1896 to 2000. Recounting the memorable and significant athletic events of the Olympics in terms of their social and political impact, Guttmann demonstrates that the modern games were revived to propagate a political message and continue to serve political purposes. This second edition of Guttmann's critically acclaimed history includes coverage of the controversial tenure of Juan Antonio Samaranch as president of the International Olympic Committee, a period tainted by rising drug use among athletes and scandals accompanying the awarding of sites and marked by the debut of openly professional athletes and the significantly increased role of female athletes.
In his previous books Allen Guttmann has provided incisive perspectives on Avery Brundage's role in the Olympic movement and on the nature of modern sports. Now, in his latest book, the accomplished historian of sport turns his attention from the playing field to the grandstand. Sports Spectators, the first historical study of the subject from antiquity to today, is at once erudite and entertaining; comprehensive and succint. Guttmann first examines the history of sports spectators, starting with Ancient Greece and Rome. He then moves on to the Renaissance and traces three early sports -the tournament, archery, and early versions of football. The author then focuses on the emergenece of sports in post-Renaissance England, and discusses the curious spectacle of animal sports (bear- and bull-baiting and cockfighting), as well as the first appearance of combat sports such as sword fighting, stick fighting, and boxing. The book concludes its historical view by exploring contemporary baseball, football, rowing, tennis, and golf. From his chronological narrative, Guttmann shifts to detailed analysis of the economic, sociological, and psychological aspects of sports spectatorship. Who were, and are, sports spectators? What is their gender and social class? Have they normally been participants as well as fans? What are the political functions of sports-watching? What are the social dynamics of spectatorship? Guttmann provides fresh insights which will be useful to scholars and fascinating to everyone. Sports Spectators also looks at the dramatic transformations radio and television have made, and offers an incisive critique of today's sports-related violence, including the increasingly frequent incidences of spectator hooliganism. How violent (or peaceful) have spectators traditionally been? Has spectator violence increased or decreased? You needn't be a season ticket-holder to enjoy Sports Spectators. Allen Guttmann makes the history of fandom come alive for any reader interested in Western culture and what forms of entertainment reveal about us, as well as those concerned with the recent growth of spectator violence.
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