8th Edition

American Sports From the Age of Folk Games to the Age of the Internet

By Pamela Grundy, Benjamin Rader Copyright 2019
    308 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    308 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    American Sports is a comprehensive, analytical introduction to the history of American sports from the colonial era to the present. Pamela Grundy and Benjamin Rader outline the complex relationships between sports and class, gender, race, religion, and region in the United States. Building on changes in the previous edition, which expanded the attention paid to women, African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos, this edition adds numerous sidebars that examine subjects such as the Black Sox scandal, the worldwide influence of Jack Johnson, the significance of softball for lesbian athletes, and the influence of the point spread on sports gambling. Insightful, thorough, and highly readable, the new edition of American Sports remains the finest available introduction to the myriad ways in which sports have reinforced or challenged the values and behaviors of Americans, as well as the structure of American society.

    Chapter 1. Sports in Early America

    Chapter 2. The Setting for Nineteenth-Century Sports

    Chapter 3. The Sporting Fraternity and Its Spectacles

    Chapter 4. The Rise of America's National Game

    Chapter 5. Elite Sports

    Chapter 6. The Rise of Intercollegiate Sports

    Chapter 7. Broader Horizons

    Chapter 8. Sports, Culture and Nation: 1900-1945

    Chapter 9. The Rise of Organized Youth Sports

    Chapter 10. The Age of Sports Heroes

    Chapter 11. Baseball's Golden Age

    Chapter 12. The Intercollegiate Football Spectacle

    Chapter 13. The Rise and Decline of Organized Women's Sports

    Chapter 14. Globalizing Sports, Redefining Race

    Chapter 15. The Setting of Organized Sports Since World War II

    Chapter 16. Professional Team Sports in the Age of Television

    Chapter 17. College Sports in the Age of Television

    Chapter 18. Racial Revolution

    Chapter 19. Women's Liberation

    Chapter 20. All Sports All the Time

    Chapter 21. Sports in the Twenty-First Century


    Pamela Grundy is an independent historian who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is the author of Learning to Win: Sports, Education and Social Change in Twentieth-Century North Carolina (2001) and Shattering the Glass: The Remarkable History of Women’s Basketball (2005, with Susan Shackelford).

    Benjamin G. Rader is James L. Sellers Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the author of Down on Mahans Creek: A History of an Ozarks Neighborhood (2017) and Baseball: A History of America’s Game (4th edition, 2018).

    "Since its first edition, American Sports has admirably detailed not only the rise of sports in the country but why they are important. Ben Rader, and now Pamela Grundy, illustrate how our games reflect our society and provide agency for change. American Sports is everything I could ask for in a brief one-volume history."

    • Randy Roberts, 150th Anniversary Distinguished Professor, Purdue University

    "This well-written, excellent text presents a much more inclusive history of sport in the United States than most textbooks do, broadly exploring the experiences of American athletes of various genders, races, ethnicities, and economic statuses across the centuries. The text embraces the diversity of American athletes and, thus, provides a comprehensive look at the strengths and weaknesses of sport in American society."

    • Sarah K. Fields, Professor and Associate Dean, University of Colorado - Denver

    "A perfect mix of specific anecdotes and broader trends. Comfortable prose that moves well yet includes tons of detail. Astute and timely quotations from prominent historical figures. Grundy and Rader have produced a comprehensive history of American sport - and they've done it well!"

    • Chad Carlson, Associate Professor of Sports Studies, Hope College