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A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years by Dave Zirin

By Dave Zirin

A rollicking, rebellious, myth-busting historical past of activities in the USA that places politics within the ring with pop culture.

summary: A rollicking, rebellious, myth-busting background of activities in the United States that places politics within the ring with popular culture

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Extra info for A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play

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The New York Times wrote: “Already the cry of the dying children begins to be heard. . 67 This was also the year of the general strike. 68 The tumult was a harbinger of transformation. From 1860 to 1900 the population of the United States grew from 31 million to 75 million; now 20 million people lived west of the Mississippi, and the number of farms grew from 2 million to 6 million. 69 With overcrowded cities came conflict. In 1884, women’s assemblies of textile workers and hat makers went on strike.

But wrapped around the swatch of cloth was an ornately woven belt. Extending from the back of the belt was a “tail” made of animal hair and feathers. Around their heads, they wore multihued headdresses made up of elaborate quills and cloth. But all of this was mellow compared to the play itself. An Anglo observer named George Catlin watched, his jaw on the floor. In these desperate struggles for the ball, when it is up . . (where hundreds are running together and leaping, actually over each other’s heads, and darting between their adversaries’ legs, tripping and throwing, and foiling each other in every possible manner, and every voice raised to the highest key, in shrill yelps and barks)!

All communities divide themselves into the few and the many,” said Alexander Hamilton. “The first are the rich and the well-born, the other the mass of the people. The voice of the people has been said to be voice of God; and however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true in fact. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct permanent share in the government. . Can a democratic assembly who annually revolve in the mass of the people be supposed steadily to pursue the public good?

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