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Download e-book for kindle: A History of American Sports in 100 Objects by Cait Murphy

By Cait Murphy

ISBN-10: 046509774X

ISBN-13: 9780465097746

What artifact top captures the spirit of yank activities? The bat Babe Ruth used to hit his allegedly referred to as shot, or the ball on which Pete Rose wrote, “I’m sorry I wager on baseball”? may possibly it's Lance Armstrong’s red-white-and-blue motorbike, now tarnished through doping and hubris? or maybe its ancestor, the nineteenth-century safeguard bicycle that opened an road of formerly unknown freedom to ladies? The jerseys of opponents Larry fowl and Magic Johnson? Or the handball that Abraham Lincoln threw opposed to a wall as he waited for information of his presidential nomination?

From approximately forgotten heroes like Tad Lucas (rodeo) and Tommy Kono (weightlifting) to celebrities like Amelia Earhart, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Phelps, Cait Murphy tells the tales of the folk, occasions, and issues that experience cast the epic of yankee activities, in either its attractiveness and its squalor. tales of heroism and triumph rub up opposed to stories of discrimination and dishonest. those gadgets inform even more than simply tales approximately nice games—they inform the tale of the country. Eye-opening and exuberant, A historical past of yankee activities in a hundred Objects exhibits how the video games american citizens play are woven into the gloriously infuriating textile of the United States itself.

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I was intrigued to learn, for example, of the importance of lacrosse in many North American tribal cultures; it was play, of course, but could also be a spiritual ritual or a means of settling conflicts. The game of chunkey was one of the ways that the people of Cahokia spread their culture; it was central to their way of life in a way that cannot be recaptured in modern society. In our own times, sports faithfully replicate many of the prominent features of American life, for good and ill. Drug problems in society?

One of the horse’s legs and a testicle were cut. In the 30 minutes between heats, the call went up for Samuel Purdy, Eclipse’s regular jockey, who at age 49 had been deemed too old for the big race. Some of Eclipse’s backers tracked him down: Would Purdy ride? Yes, he said, and ripped off his overcoat. 12 In the second heat, the old pro showed how it was done, coaxing Eclipse to the rail in a nifty move on the inside to take the lead in the last mile, then holding off a game Sir Henry. Eclipse finished in 7:49, two lengths ahead.

He pioneered other types of action, too. He dabbled in show biz and willing women. He drank too much. He had a posse of hangers-on. And he died destitute. 1 Today, boxing and prizefighting are synonymous. In the nineteenth century, however, they were distinct. Boxing, which gentlemen like Theodore Roosevelt did as a hobby at Harvard, was socially acceptable; prizefighting, which tough guys did for money, was not. Even so, prizefights took place all over the country, supported by a public that loved the action and a gambling culture that provided an economic base.

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A History of American Sports in 100 Objects by Cait Murphy


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