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Sports in Chicago

A wide-ranging history of Chicago sports

Chicago has garnered national recognition by winning the World Series, the Super Bowl, and a string of titles in the National Basketball Association. But amateur sports also play a large role in the city's athletic traditions, especially in schools and youth leagues. In fourteen chapters, experts focus on multiple aspects of Chicago sports, including long looks at amateur boxing, the impact of gender and ethnicity in sports, the politics of horse racing and stadium building, the lasting scandal of the Black Sox, and the perpetual heartbreak of the Cubs. Well illustrated with forty photographs, this volume will help historians and sports fans alike appreciate the longstanding importance of sports in Chicago.

Contributors are Peter Alter, Robin F. Bachin, Larry Bennett, Linda J. Borish, Gerald Gems, Elliott J. Gorn, Richard Kimball, Gabe Logan, Daniel A. Nathan, Timothy Neary, Steven A. Riess, John Russick, Timothy Spears, Costas Spirou, and Loc Wacquant.


"An excellent collection of essays. . . . A useful addition to any library's sport collection."--Journal of Sport History

"A fascinating collection (ably illustrated with wonderful archival materials) and well worth reading."--Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature

"Bears, Cubs, Black Hawks, and Sox epitomize sports to most Chicagoans. This volume delivers this and much more. From the introduction of soccer by British immigrants and the racially integrated CYO teams to the forgotten legacy of Bronko Nagurski and the civic impact of sporting venues, Sports in Chicago takes readers beyond the Bull(s). A must-read for any fan of Chicago history."--Timothy J. Gilfoyle, author of Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark

"At the intersection of Chicago sports and history lies this gem of a book. Rich in lore, wisdom, and insight, it reaches back into the past beyond even Bronko Nagurski--and believe me, that's as big a reach as the Cubs winning the World Series. One difference, though: the Cubs don't always succeed; Sports in Chicago does."--John Schulian, former Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist

"Sports have their deepest meanings for local communities, and no city has a richer sports history than Chicago's. The Bears and the Cubs; the Black Sox and Bronko Nagurski; Soldier Field, Comiskey Park, and Wrigley Field; ethnic and racial neighborhoods and the Catholic Youth Organization--all made their mark on Chicago sports and on Chicago the city. This collection of essays is a fascinating photo album of that great city's great characters among its athletes and teams." --Michael Oriard, former NFL player and author of King Football: Sport & Spectacle in the Golden Age of Radio and Newsreels, Movies & Magazines, the Weekly & the Daily Press

Elliott J. Gorn is a professor of history and chair of the Department of American Civilization at Brown University. He is the author of The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prizefighting in America, co-author of A Brief History of American Sports, and editor of Muhammad Ali, the People's Champ.

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