Cover for MORRIS: Making the Team: The Cultural Work of Baseball Fiction

Making the Team

The Cultural Work of Baseball Fiction

Timothy Morris examines the cultural implications of baseball novels, focusing on four themes--assimilation, heterosexuality, language, and meritocracy--from among many possibilities "because they are particularly problematic issues for America and Americanists in the mid-1990s."

While Making the Team deals with canonical works such as The Natural and Bang the Drum Slowly, it devotes equal attention to juvenile novels by John Tunis (The Kid from Tomkinsville, Young Razzle) and others. Throughout, Morris considers how the ideals of manliness, courage, competitiveness, athleticism, whiteness, and standard English--of "Americanness" in its many facets--have been embodied in fictional characters for readers of different ages and in different eras.

Morris concludes with a chapter that asks, "What does it mean to be 'literary'?" What distinguishes "high art" from a baseball novel, or a mystery, or a romance novel, or pornography? Making the Team suggests that drawing the line may be a more vital concern--not just for scholars, but for Americans at large--than anything critics have argued about for a very long time.

A volume in the series Sport and Society, edited by Benjamin G. Rader and Randy Roberts


"Simply the best sports literature book I have read since the foundation studies in the field were published." -- Michael Oriard, author of Sporting with the Gods: The Rhetoric of Play and Game in American Culture

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/66bee8gr9780252065972.html

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