Though few Americans have read the work of West Indian historian and political reformer C.L.R. James, many share his passionate faith that sport serves as a scalpel for peeling back social veneers and uncovering fundamental truths about the inner workings of human cultures. In his magisterial Beyond a Boundary James neatly performed that very trick, exposing the beating heart of the British Empire in his meditations on the game of cricket. To his critics, academic and otherwise, James complained, ‘[i]f this is not social history what is?’1 James’s challenge reverberates in contemporary American popular and academic cultures. Histories related to sport abound in American culture. Libraries burst with thousands of academic tomes devoted to various historical aspects of sport in American culture.2 Popular tomes litter the shelves of major bookstores and appear on bestseller lists.3 These chronicles are transformed into major television documentaries or become Hollywood blockbusters.4 Indeed, film critics have recently complained that every sports movie produced in the USA ham-handedly seeks to teach audiences a ‘Disneyfied’ lesson in the history of American race relations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)