1st Edition

Sport and Revolutionaries Reclaiming the Historical Role of Sport in Social and Political Activism

Edited By John Nauright, David K Wiggins Copyright 2015
    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    This collection examines the role of sport in the lives of key revolutionary thinkers and leftist activists. In contrast to those who take a more romantic view of sport and believe in its apolitical nature, the chapters in this book help make clear how sport has served as a site for political activism and the revolutionary thought and practices of such individuals as Henry Mayers Hyndman, Vladimir Lenin, Fidel Castro, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Harry Edwards, Charles Perkins, and Darius Dhlomo. Written by noted scholars, each chapter in turn provides insights into the close connection between sport, politics, and revolutionary movements in countries varying widely in their history, governmental policies, and treatment of individuals and groups. This book, which adopts a very broad definition of revolutions, is written with the hope of encouraging more serious thought regarding the transformative potential of sports, which can be individually liberating, as well as responsible for co-opting the lower classes and helping maintain power among the political and economic elite in capitalist as well as socialist societies.

    This book was published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.

    1. Sport and Revolutionaries: Reclaiming the Historical Role of Sport in Social and Political Activism

    John Nauright and David K. Wiggins

    2. Cricket and the Radical

    Brian Stoddart

    3. The Radicalisation of the Gaelic Athletic Association in Ulster, 1912 – 1923: The Role of Owen O’Duffy

    Dónal McAnallen

    4. Bolsheviks, Revolution and Physical Culture

    Susan Grant

    5. Game Changer: The Role of Sport in Revolution

    Thomas F. Carter

    6. Building Character and Socialising a Revolutionary: Sport and Leisure in the Life of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

    Charles Parrish

    7. ‘The Struggle That Must Be’: Harry Edwards, Sport and the Fight for Racial Equality

    David K. Wiggins

    8. Kwementyaye (Charles) Perkins: Indigenous Soccer Player and Australian Political Activist

    Daryl Adair and Megan Stronach

    9. The Universe is Shaped like a Football: Football and Revolution

    Alon K. Raab


    John Nauright is Professor of Sport and Leisure Cultures, Director of the Centre for Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies, and Head of Research in the School of Sport and Leisure Management at the University of Brighton, UK. He is the author and editor of sixteen books and numerous refereed articles in Sports Studies.

    David K. Wiggins is Professor and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Sport and Leisure at George Mason University, Washington DC, USA. He is also a former Editor of Quest and the Journal of Sport History, and Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology. He is the author and editor of numerous books and essays on the history of sport.