A People's History of Sports in the US Press Release

A people’s history of sports

in the united states

BY DAVE ZIRIN

THE NEW PRESS / SEPTEMBER 9, 2008

FROM THE AUTHOR ROBERT LIPSYTE CALLS “THE BEST YOUNG SPORTSWRITER IN AMERICA,” A ROLLICKING, REBELLIOUS, MYTH-BUSTING HISTORY OF SPORTS IN AMERICA THAT PUTS POLITICS IN THE RING WITH POP CULTURE

Sports and politics may appear in different sections of the morning newspaper but that doesn’t mean they necessarily belong in different universes. With A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF SPORTS IN THE UNITED STATES: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play sportswriter Dave Zirin aims to expose and explain the way politics and sports have always walked arm in arm: sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Having already tackled such subjects like Muhammad Ali and Pat Tillman in his previous books, in A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF SPORTS IN THE UNITED STATES Zirin examines sports as a reflection of the political conflicts that shape American society. It’s a book that unabashedly stands with the tradition of rebel athletes, sports writers, and fans, critiquing the way sports have been used by people in power to stoke the fires of war, corporate control, racism, sexism, and homophobia.

In this long-awaited book from a rising superstar of sports writing, whose blog “The Edge of Sports,” is read each week by thousands of people across the country, Zirin offers a riotously entertaining chronicle of larger-than-life sporting characters and dramatic contests and what amounts to an alternative history of the United States as seen through the games its people played. Through Zirin’s eyes, sports are never mere games, but a reflection of the political conflicts that shape American society. Informed by bloggers, columnists, and historians alike, Zirin’s style is like no other—truly accessible and incisive—and his message and words stimulate the mind and enhance our pleasure and knowledge of the games. Zirin has garnered accolades from Nikki Giovanni to Jeff Chang to Robert Lippsyte to Jim Bouton, who says of the book, “Put this first in the line of sports books on your shelf. It will help make sense of all the others.” As Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, puts it, “After you read him, you’ll never see sports the same way again.”

A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF SPORTS IN THE UNITED STATES is a must-read for fans and athletes—by political people who hate sports and sports fans who hate politics.

Praise for Dave Zirin:

“If there was an award for ‘Most Valuable Sportswriter,’ I would vote for Dave Zirin. His writing combines vivid narrative, good humor, impressive knowledge of the game, and a keen awareness of the connection between sports and the world outside.” –Howard Zinn

“Finally, the long awaited prequel to all the sports books you’ve ever read…. Dave Zirin’s writing is the opening shot in the battle to reclaim sports.” –Jim Bouton, Author of Ball Four

“This is the one sports book we all need—an insight into the joy and anguish, the pressures, and the pleasures.” –Nikki G, Distinguished Professor of English, Virginia Tech

“…a masterpiece of activist journalism and scholarship.” –Jeremy Schaap, Author of Cinderella Man and Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics

“…this is an independent-minded, rowdy, rampant, insightful, and above all, truthful book.”

–Sally Jenkins, Author of The Real All Americans

“Perhaps the best young sportswriter in the United States today.  Zirin is the only person my fifteen-year-old, basketball-loving daughter reads on The Nation.com.” –Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Editor & Publisher of The Nation

“You have to read Dave Zirin to believe him, and if you read him, you will believe him.”–Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated

“Zirin has an amazing talent for covering the sports and politics beat. Ranging like a great shortstop, he scoops up everything!” –Matt Rothschild, Editor of The Progressive

Dave Zirin is the author of three books, including What’s My Name Fool! and Welcome to the Terrordome. He writes the popular weekly online sports column “The Edge of Sports” and is a regular contributor to SI.com, The Nation, SLAM, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland. For more information, visit www.edgeofsports.com.

A People’s History of Sports in the United States

by Dave Zirin

The New Press / September 9, 2008

Hardcover / $26.95 / 320 pages

ISBN: 978-1-59558-100-6