|Publisher:||Independent Pub Group|
|Publish Date:||Sep 2008|
|Number of Pages:||211|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.88|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.25 x 8.0 x 1.0|
|How Football Explains Manifest Destiny||p. 1|
|How Football Explains Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett||p. 15|
|How Football Explains Alexis de Tocqueville||p. 33|
|How Football Explains John Coltrane and Jackie Robinson||p. 51|
|How Football Explains West Point||p. 73|
|How Football Explains the Battle of Midway||p. 95|
|How Football Explains Father Knows Best||p. 115|
|How Football Explains the '60s||p. 139|
|How Football Explains Show Business||p. 159|
|How Football Explains Us All||p. 183|
|Selected Bibliography||p. 209|
A more accurate, if less provocative, title for this fascinating pop culture treatise would be How Football Relates to American History and Culture. While no one thing does in fact really explain America, football does cut a very wide swath in its connection to the American experience. Relying on interviews and eclectic research sources, ESPN reporter Paolantonio links key points about the game to events, characters, cultural details, and American symbols.
For example, he says that the establishment in football of down and distance, possession and territory, is tied to the American policy of Manifest Destiny. Huddles are connected to the importance of free assembly in a democracy as noted by Alexis de Toqueville. Similarly, the author demonstrates common American concepts like the frontier, race, ethnicity, immigration, leadership, social change, commercialism, celebrity worship, corruption, and teamwork in the context of football.
The book is very engagingly written, with each chapter framed by an incident from the 2007 NFL season to bring to life the main argument in the body of that chapter. Paolantonio is a popular and well-known figure, and this insightful examination of why we love football will be read by a broad range of patrons.
-John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ
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