248 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Sport about their New Books

New Books in Sports New Books Network

    • Sports
    • 4.8 • 12 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Sport about their New Books

    Mike Miley, "Truth and Consequences: Game Shows in Fiction and Film" (UP Mississippi, 2020)

    Mike Miley, "Truth and Consequences: Game Shows in Fiction and Film" (UP Mississippi, 2020)

    Although nearly every other television form or genre has undergone a massive critical and popular reassessment or resurgence in the past twenty years, the game show’s reputation has remained both remarkably stagnant and remarkably low. Scholarship on game shows concerns itself primarily with the history and aesthetics of the form, and few works assess the influence the format has had on American society or how the aesthetics and rhythms of contemporary life model themselves on the aesthetics and rhythms of game shows.
    In Truth and Consequences: Game Shows in Fiction and Film (University Press of Mississippi, 2020), author Mike Miley seeks to broaden the conversation about game shows by studying how they are represented in fiction and film. Writers and filmmakers find the game show to be the ideal metaphor for life in a media-saturated era, from selfhood to love to family to state power. The book is divided into “rounds,” each chapter looking at different themes that books and movies explore via the game show.
    By studying over two dozen works of fiction and film—bestsellers, blockbusters, disasters, modern legends, forgotten gems, award winners, self-published curios, and everything in between—Truth and Consequences argues that game shows offer a deeper understanding of modern-day America, a land of high-stakes spectacle where a game-show host can become president of the United States.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    William W. Kelly, "The Sportsworld of the Hanshin Tigers: Professional Baseball in Modern Japan" (University of California Press, 2018)

    William W. Kelly, "The Sportsworld of the Hanshin Tigers: Professional Baseball in Modern Japan" (University of California Press, 2018)

    Baseball has been Japan's most popular sport for over a century. In The Sportsworld of the Hanshin Tigers: Professional Baseball in Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2018), anthropologist William Kelly analyzes Japanese baseball ethnographically by focusing on a single professional team, the Hanshin Tigers. For over fifty years, the Tigers have been the one of the country’s most watched and talked-about professional baseball teams, second only to their powerful rivals, the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. Despite a largely losing record, perennial frustration, and infighting among players, the Tigers remain overwhelming sentimental favorites in many parts of the country. 
    This book analyzes the Hanshin Tiger phenomenon, and offers an account of why it has long been so compelling and instructive. Professor Kelly argues that the Tigers represent what he calls a sportsworld —a collective product of the actions of players, coaching staff, management, media, and millions of passionate fans. The team has come to symbolize a powerful counter-narrative to idealized notions of Japanese workplace relations. The Tigers are savored as a melodramatic representation of real corporate life, rife with rivalries and office politics familiar to every Japanese worker. And playing in a historic stadium on the edge of Osaka, they carry the hopes and frustrations of Japan’s second city against the all-powerful capital.
    John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations.
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    • 1 hr 25 min
    Daniel Lieberman, "Exercised: How We Did Not Evolve to Exercise and What to Do about It" (Pantheon, 2021)

    Daniel Lieberman, "Exercised: How We Did Not Evolve to Exercise and What to Do about It" (Pantheon, 2021)

    Today I talked to Daniel Lieberman about his book Exercised: How We Did Not Evolve to Exercise and What to Do about It (Pantheon, 2021). In the book Lieberman explodes 12 different myths, chief among them we’re supposed to want to exercise. Much of the conversation explores differences between Westerners and their lifestyles, including of course exercise, versus the daily energy expenditures of non-Westerners and especially people in Africa. It provides insights to show how aging and senescence are not necessarily linked, and offers some ways in which we might enjoy exercise more.
    Daniel E. Lieberman is the Lerner Professor of Biological Sciences in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He received degrees from Harvard and Cambridge Universities. Lieberman studies and teaches how and why the human body is the way it is, and how our evolutionary history affects health and disease. 
    Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of eight books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.
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    • 31 min
    Ronald Hutton, "The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Ronald Hutton, "The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Today we speak to Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom about the twentieth anniversary, and concomitant reissue, of the extremely important The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (Oxford UP, 2019). The author of over a dozen books and myriad articles, Professor Hutton’s work is both prodigious and percipient. We chat about the importance of the book and the reason for its reissue.
    Hutton brings witchcraft out of the shadows. The Triumph of the Moon is the first full-scale study of the only religion England has ever given the world--modern pagan witchcraft, otherwise known as wicca. Meticulously researched, it provides a thorough account of an ancient religion that has spread from English shores across four continents.
    For centuries, pagan witchcraft has been linked with chilling images of blood rituals, ghostlike druids, and even human sacrifices. But while Robert Hutton explores this dark side of witchery, he stresses the positive, reminding us that devotion to art, the natural world, femininity, and the classical deities are also central to the practice of wicca. Indeed, the author shows how leading figures in English literature--W.B. Yeats, D.H. Lawrence, and Robert Graves, just to name a few--celebrated these positive aspects of the religion in their work, thereby softening the public perception of witchcraft in Victorian England. From cunning village folk to freemasons and from high magic to the black arts, Hutton chronicles the fascinating process by which actual wiccan practices evolved into what is now a viable modern religion. He also presents compelling biographies of wicca's principal figures, such as Gerald Gardner, who was inducted into a witch coven at the age of 53, and recorded many clandestine rituals and beliefs.
    Ronald Hutton is known for his colorful, provocative, and always thoroughly researched studies on original subjects. This work is no exception. It will appeal to anyone interested in witchcraft, paganism and alternative religions.
    Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.
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    • 29 min
    Pete Croatto, "From Hang Time to Prime Time: Business, Entertainment, and the Birth of the Modern-Day NBA" (Atria Books, 2020)

    Pete Croatto, "From Hang Time to Prime Time: Business, Entertainment, and the Birth of the Modern-Day NBA" (Atria Books, 2020)

    The birth of the modern-day NBA is often attributed to Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and David Stern. In From Hang Time to Prime Time: Business, Entertainment, and the Birth of the Modern-Day NBA (Atria Books, 2020), Pete Croatto pays homage to those legendary figures, while putting their contributions to the game in the context of some of the cultural, business and technological forces that built the NBA into a pop culture juggernaut. Croatto examines how the ABA/NBA merger, CBS’s personality-driven coverage of key players, the expansion of cable television, the emergence of hip-hop culture and a brilliant marketing team at NBA Entertainment transformed a fledgling league searching for its identity into a global phenomenon.
    The breadth and depth of this thoroughly researched book (Croatto interviewed over 300 sources) is staggering, and yet, the author managed to present the narrative in a breezy, easy to read narrative. From Hang Time to Prime Time has something for everyone, appealing to die-hard and casual basketball fans alike. The reader will learn about building a business, marketing a product, music, fashion, technology and more.
    Paul Knepper was born and raised in New York and currently resides in Austin. His first book, The Knicks of the Nineties: Ewing, Oakley, Starks and the Brawlers Who Almost Won It All, is available on Amazon and other sites. You can reach Paul at paulknepper@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @paulieknep.
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    • 57 min
    Melissa Harper, "The Ways of the Bushwalker: On Foot in Australia" (U Washington Press, 2020)

    Melissa Harper, "The Ways of the Bushwalker: On Foot in Australia" (U Washington Press, 2020)

    Today I talked to Melissa Harper about her book The Ways of the Bushwalker: On Foot in Australia (University of Washington Press, 2020). Australians have always loved to step out in nature, whether off-track or along a marked route. Bushwalking – an organised long-distance walk in rugged terrain that requires maps and camping equipment, or a family day out – is one of our most popular pastimes. This landmark book, now updated, was the first to delve into its rich and sometimes quirky history.

    From the earliest days of European settlement, colonists found pleasure in leisurely strolls through the bush, collecting flowers, sketching, bird watching and picnicking. Yet over time, walking for the sake of walking became the dominant motive. Walking clubs proliferated, railways organised mystery hikes attended by thousands, and Paddy Pallin established his equipment business. Bushwalking – serious walking – was invented.

    Whether you are inclined to put on your walking boots and pack your sleeping bag, or would rather stay in a luxury hut, this surefooted and witty book reveals how the ordinary act of walking can become extraordinary.

    Melissa Harper is a senior lecturer in communications and arts at the University of Queensland. She has published widely on the history of walking in Australia, including the acclaimed first edition of Ways of the Bushwalker. She wrote the chapter about the billy in Symbols of Australia and is currently working on a history of fine dining.
    Bede Haines is a solicitor, specialising in litigation and a partner at Holding Redlich, an Australian commercial law firm. He lives in Sydney, Australia. Known to read books, ride bikes and eat cereal (often). bede.haines@holdingredlich.com.
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    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Abe Lincoln BlTCH ,

fun listen

randomly came accross this one. Really enjoyed it. check it out

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