Even the discerning reader may not associate an academic press with sports. But what occurs in a sports venue—whether stadium or gym, track or sandlot—contests far more than results on a scoreboard. Race. Gender. Money. Politics. Power. Triumph. Tragedy. Each plays a part no matter what the game and no matter when it happened. The University of Illinois Press’s award-winning list of books explores these matters to offer a deep, thoughtful perspective on all things sports.
Winton U. Solberg’s Creating the Big Ten revisits the first fifty years of the storied college sports gigaconference to show how a loose alliance of schools became today’s billion-dollar behemoth—and taught the rest of the NCAA how to do the same.
In Walter Camp and the Creation of American Football, Roger R. Tamte focuses on the figure most responsible for transforming the incomprehensible scrum of rugby into America’s Real Game.
Jesse Berrett’s Pigskin Nation deciphers how our politics adopted the language and tools of the National Football League to present candidates, ideas, and myths in irresistibly potent ways. Finally, the Journal of Sport History brings it with articles that range from Josephine Rathbone’s introduction of yoga to America’s physical education classes to the lost story of Earle E. Liederman, the mail-order strongman who mentored Charles Atlas.
And just to be clear: we can handle the fun stuff, too. Mike Pearson’s Illini Legends, Lists, and Lore puts 130-plus years of University of Illinois sports facts at your fingertips while Steven Gietschier and a roster of experts provide the greatest Replays, Rivalries, and Rumbles. And this Fall, we’ll be publishing a global history of hockey!