Jay's exciting -- sometimes breathless -- commentary on the evolution of sports in late 20th-century America touches all the bases, scoring point after point with her lucid insights and evocative prose. Publishers Weekly [Jay] traces the complex evolution of sports in American society over the course of the past sixty years, explaining how and why the major sports... have become a multibillion-dollar industry, as well as a major influence on and reflection of American society. Forecast Jay's historical and sociological treatment offers many important details on women in sports... This would be a good textbook for an undergraduate sport history class. Recommended for academic libraries. Library Journal More Than Just a Game will be an important source for historians and sociologists in years ahead... -- Lawrence S. Connor Indianapolis Star Her judgments are sharp, her insights astute, and her breadth remarkable...Highly recommended. Choice 4/1/05 Dr. Jay has produced a useful and thoughtful volume... it offers much insight into, and raises important questions about, recent developments in American Sport. -- Richard C. Crepeau The Journal of American History 6/1/05 A valuable and necessary read... Riveting. -- Terry Martin Aethlon Spring 2006
Kathryn Jay examines the history of major professional and intercollegiate sports to explain how they've became a multibillion-dollar industry and a major influence on American society. Jay argues that the problems created by cheating, drug use, violent behavior, and an emphasis on financial gain have been bemoaned as reflecting the decline of the nation itself. Yet Americans continue to believe sports encourage good citizenship and morality, and we celebrate athletes as national heroes. When people dismiss sports as "just a game," they miss much of what makes them so vital to American daily life. In the United States, sports have rarely been just fun and games.