Sport in Industrial America, 1850-1920

Riess examines the evolution of sport from its rural and urban origins as a less-than-respectable entertainment for the lower classes, through its antebellum upsurge when, with the development of a new sport ideology, it attained respectability - penetrating and finally remaking popular culture. Using a topical approach, Riess looks at sport from several vantage points, analysing the interaction between sport and the rise of modern cities; the impact of sport on immigration, race, class, and gender; how sport became accessible through technological innovations; how it became integral to various educational and social movements; the coming of the professional sports figure; sport's links to politics and organised crime; and, the role of women in sport. Highlighted with colourful anecdotes, the narrative unfurls a pageant of celebrities and unknowns, players, spectators, and entrepreneurs - all engaged in the drama that is American sport.