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Sports Spectators (Paper)


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Part I. From Antiquity to Modern Times 1. Greek and Roman Spectators 2. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance 3. Englishmen and Others: Early Modern Times 4. Modern Spectators Part II. Contemporary Spectators 5. Mediated Spectatorship 6. Dehumanized Spectators? 7. Spectator Hooligans 8. Motivations Actual and Ideal Notes Index

About the Author

Allen Guttmann is Professor of American Studies at Amherst College. His previous books with Columbia University Press include From Ritual to Record: The Nature of Modern Sports and The Games Must Go On: Avery Brundage and the Olympic Movement, which was named the U.S. Olympic Committee's "Olympic Book of the Year" for 1984.


Author of two fine sports histories, From Ritual to Record and The Games Must Go On, Guttmann, professor of American studies at Amherst, here tackles the questions of who views sports and why. After a feeble look at spectating in ancient Greece and Rome, for which there are few sources, the narrative gains momentum and is exceedingly thorough in treating the most recent two centuries. In general, Guttmann shows, the appeal of various sports has been heavily dependent on class: while the British aristocracy moved from jousts to horse races to cricket, the peasants went from medieval football to bear-baiting to soccer. Class differences, he believes, help to explain spectator violence in modern sports: hooliganism at a golf match is unheard of, while it is common at soccer games. After effectively demolishing Marxist views of sport as the new opiate of the masses, he concludes that sports serve as a unifying factor in society. (October)

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