This is more than a description of the imperial spread of public school games: it considers hegemony and patronage, ideals and idealism, educational values and aspirations, cultural assimilation and adaptation and the dissemination of the moralistic ideology of athleticism.
"Dr Mangan's book is outstandingly good at making things clear without oversimplifiying them, and remaining readable while never losing his high standard of scholarship and seriousness. This is a masterly book."
- Catholic Herald
"an influential book and an ideal text for courses in the history of imperialism and the history of sport"
- Allen Guttman
W. B. Hepburn, The Daily Telegraph
"J.A. Mangan in The Games Ethic and Imperialism not only injects fresh vigour into the old, old story but emphasises the very peculiar nature, both of those institutions."
"…is written with elegance, erudition and originality" Brian Rees
"J. A. Mangan"s new book is a…. highly amusing and informative read. This book is a serious historical works and as such does help us to understand the present." Jon Hartridge
"This is a stimulating book. Dr. Mangan"s book is outstanding at making things clear…readable and amusing..never losing his high standards of scholarship. A masterly book." Isabel Quigly, Catholic Herald
"as much a study of British ethnocentrism as of sport in the empire. ..others need to look at how the study of sport can contribute to knowledge of local society. With this stimulating work of Mangan, new directions for future research have been pointed out." Phyllis M. Martin, Indiana University, The American Historical Review
Choice - December 1998
"This is an excellent, detailed description and informative analysis of the eveolution of British public school games from primitive, ancient, and mediveal games to today"s British public school children learning the basics of courage, endurance, loyalty and self-control through public school games … The documentation is exceptionally well done, thorough and thoroughly readable. Highly recommended for the graduate level academic library, this work can be useful to anyone with historical curiosity."
Culture, Sport, Society - Vol. 2, No. 1
"Well written and documented, this eminently readable book will appeal to the general reader as well as those in the fields of popular culture, imperial administrative and sports history, as well as religion and literature … Mangan has played a key role in elaborating the links connecting bodily discipline and human value systems."
The International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol 16, No 1, March 99
"Novices in the field of sports history should begin with Mangan"s landmark study of the creation of the "games ethic" in the Victorian and Edwardian public school. In this book, extensive research, narrative skill, and a keen eye for apt quotation from wonderfully quotable pedagogues combine to make a classic in the field.