Cover for STRUNA: People of Prowess: Sport, Leisure, and Labor in Early Anglo-America

People of Prowess

Sport, Leisure, and Labor in Early Anglo-America

Prowess--extraordinary skill and ability, especially in sports--has always been important to Americans, even in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Nancy L. Struna explores the significance, meaning, and structure of competitive matches and displays of physical prowess for both men and women in colonial culture. Engrossingly written for the general reader as well as sport and leisure historians, People of Prowess is a pioneering work that explores a rarely examined area of colonial history and society.


"Struna has written a first-rate book, one that will immediately be hailed as the history of 'sports' for this era of American history. It rests on a large body of primary sources, contains an appropriate density of detail, and includes a keen level of analysis."--Benjamin G. Rader, author of American Sports: From the Age of Folk Games to the Age of Televised Sports

"This book has great potential not only as an academic work for sports historians but for a more general readership as well, both here and abroad. One reason for its wide appeal is that the author's writing style is most attractive--popular without being slangy, academic without being pedantic. Most colonialists will find it both informative in content and provocative in theory."--Stephanie Grauman Wolf, author of As Various As Their Land: The Everyday Lives of Eighteenth-Century Americans


Nancy L. Struna, president of the North American Society for Sport History, is an associate professor of kinesiology and affiliate associate professor of history at the University of Maryland-College Park.

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