A History of American Sports in 100 Objects

A History of American Sports in 100 Objects

by Cait Murphy


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Beautifully designed and carefully curated, a fascinating collection of the things that shaped the way we live and play in America

What artifact best captures the spirit of American sports? The bat Babe Ruth used to hit his allegedly called shot, or the ball on which Pete Rose wrote, "I'm sorry I bet on baseball"? Could it be Lance Armstrong's red-white-and-blue bike, now tarnished by doping and hubris? Or perhaps its ancestor, the nineteenth-century safety bicycle that opened an avenue of previously unknown freedom to women? The jerseys of rivals Larry Bird and Magic Johnson? Or the handball that Abraham Lincoln threw against a wall as he waited for news of his presidential nomination?

From nearly forgotten heroes like Tad Lucas (rodeo) and Tommy Kono (weightlifting) to celebrities like Amelia Earhart, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Phelps, Cait Murphy tells the stories of the people, events, and things that have forged the epic of American sports, in both its splendor and its squalor. Stories of heroism and triumph rub up against tales of discrimination and cheating. These objects tell much more than just stories about great games-they tell the story of the nation. Eye-opening and exuberant, A History of American Sports in 100 Objects shows how the games Americans play are woven into the gloriously infuriating fabric of America itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465097746
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 10/11/2016
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 939,701
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Cait Murphy is an editor at McKinsey & Company. She previously worked for Fortune, the Economist, and the Asian Wall Street Journal. A mediocre athlete, she is the author of Crazy, about the 1908 baseball season. She lives in New York City.

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A History of American Sports in 100 Objects 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
onemused More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book for sports fans, "A History of American Sports in 100 Objects" picks 100 objects, often those belonging to famous athletes, and describes their significance. It begins with one from the Native Americans and then a couple from colonial times to 1800s, although the vast majority are 1900+. The first object was the one I found most interesting, as it was a unique history/taught something very new, but then it seemed out of place amongst the more modern sport-related objects. Another interesting one was the notation of a $500 payment to an NFL player- the first time one was paid to play (a notion that seems odd given the current NFL paychecks). The modern ones I found less intriguing as I already knew about them/the individuals involved. I imagine they were easier to comprehend the importance of/think of. Altogether, it's an interesting collection complete with pictures (albeit black and white). The focus in the book is more on the descriptions than the pictures (I thought it would be a coffee-table-style book but it's really more of a book meant for reading). As each object has it's own couple of pages, it is easy to put down and pick up or just to flip through. The table of contents easily helps you find objects you might want to check out! It's a great book for sports fans! Please note that I received this book from a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful read - it is funny, insightful, a real pleasure.