The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game

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The Ball takes us to the farthest reaches of the globe and the deepest recesses of our ancient past to answer a question asked by every child on Earth: Why do we play ball? Inspired by the curiosity of his sports-obsessed 8-year-old son, anthropologist John Fox sets off on a global adventure to explore the untold history of our favorite ball games, investigate their origins and evolutionary tracks, and discern how one of humanity's simplest inventions - the humble, ubiquitous ball - has staked an unrivaled claim on our history, our passions, our money, and our lives. From the jungles of Mexico to the farm country of Ohio, from the courts of the ancient Pharaohs to the virtual playing fields of Second Life, Rolling Heads and Pigskins puts us center court for the gritty, ritualistic, violent, bizarre, primal drama of ball games as we've played them across the centuries. Part history, part travelogue, and part sportscast, The Ball spins tales of the ball itself as actor and instigator, a player who taps our human urge to hit, kick, throw, and tackle. In the end, The Ball removes us from the scandals, corruption, and commercialism of today's sports to uncover the true reasons we play ball, helping us reclaim our fundamental human connection to the games we love.