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Baseball is much more than a game. As the American national pastime, it has reflected the political and cultural concerns of US society for over 200 years, and generates passions and loyalties unique in American society. This Companion examines baseball in culture, baseball as culture, and the game's global identity. Contributors contrast baseball's massive, big-business present with its romanticized origins and its evolution against the backdrop of American and world history. The chapters cover topics such as baseball in the movies, baseball and mass media, and baseball in Japan and Latin America. Between the chapters are vivid profiles of iconic characters including Babe Ruth, Ichiro and Walter O'Malley. Crucial moments in baseball history are revisited, ranging from the 1919 Black Sox gambling scandal to recent controversies over steroid use. A unique book for fans and scholars alike, this Companion explains the enduring importance of baseball in America and beyond.
Theodore Dreiser is one of the most penetrating observers of the greatest period of social change the United States ever saw. Writing as America emerged as the world's wealthiest nation, Dreiser chronicled industrial and economic transformation and the birth of consumerism with an unmatched combination of detail, sympathy, and power. The specially commissioned essays collected in this volume are written by a leading team of scholars of American literature and culture. They establish parameters for both scholarly and classroom discussion of Dreiser. This Companion provides fresh perspectives on the frequently read classics, Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy, as well as on topics of perennial interest, such as Dreiser's representation of the city and his prose style. The volume investigates topics such as his representation of masculinity and femininity, and his treatment of ethnicity. It is the most comprehensive introduction to Dreiser's work available.
Leonard Cassuto's cultural history links the testosterone-saturated heroes of American crime stories to the sensitive women of the nineteenth-century sentimental novel. From classics like The Big Sleep and The Talented Mr. Ripley to neglected paperback gems, Cassuto chronicles the dialogue& mdash;centered on the power of sympathy& mdash;between these popular genres and the sweeping social changes of the twentieth century, ending with a surprising connection between today's serial killers and the domestic fictions of long ago.
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