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

A people’s history of sports

in the united states




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

13 Reader Comments | Add a comment

Olympics Shmolympics

I just received it and I'm putting down the other three books I was reading (one of which is 'what's my name fool!') currently! Z on 3, 1-2-3-Z, Break! =P


early updates with intresting stories about sports.

as i am very inquisitive type of person please inform me about the early updates.


I listened to you on Seattle public radio and will for sure see you tonight at the Town Hall lecture. You should teach a methods course so we can all work to uncover the historical (and current day) mechanisms of oppression in American society. Your work is soooo cool.

Sports and Dance

I'm in the middle of reading Welcome to the Terrordome, and I'm so grateful for a writer like you.
I'm currently writing about my favorite choreographer's ill-received American debut at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Arts Festival -- and upon finding your book on the shelves at the store, thought it could be great tangential material.
The body, movement and politics has always been up my alley. My father was an acrobat, and as a little girl he always supported my athletic achievement.
Partly from having Argentinean roots, and being first-generation in the US, I am also deeply political. Your voice is an inspiration to me....need any interns?

Test, just a test

Hello. And Bye.

emm... informative ))

hh... amazing


you have a great blog!!1


Excellent work, Nice Design

Where should I sale my wrecked car?

Where is a good place to sale my old wrecked car? Please help me by sugesting some sites or companies.


Jonny was here

Greetings From Houston

Great Site. Was added to mybookmarks. Greetings From USA.



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Dave Zirin is the author of the book: "Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics and Promise of Sports" (Haymarket). You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by going to dave@edgeofsports.com.
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Contact him at edgeofsports@gmail.com