American football is the most popular, and controversial, sport in the United States, and a massive industry. The NFL’s revenues are over $13 billion annually. The Super Bowl is watched by half of US television households and is televised in over 150 countries. Touchdown: An American Obsession is the first comprehensive guide to the history and culture of the sport, covering US college football as well as professional football worldwide. The editors and authors are among the world’s leading sports scholars. They cover race, ethnicity, religion, gender, social class, and globalization, as well as recent scandals and controversies, the importance of television, and the art and aesthetics of the game. Touchdown: An American Obsession is a readable, authoritative guide for Americans as well as an introduction for people around the world.
Jennifer Terry has written a nuanced and textured history of how the century-old obsession with homosexuality is deeply tied to changing American anxieties about social and sexual order in the modern age.
Lawns now blanket thirty million acres of the United States, but until the late nineteenth century few Americans had any desire for a front lawn, much less access to seeds for growing one. In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.
The author looks deeply into football's Ivy League origins to present a compelling portrait of the development of this popular American sport, explaining how the Ivy League schools shaped football as it is known today.
“Dead Girls is everything I want in an essay collection: provocative lines of inquiry, macabre humor, blistering intelligence... I love this book.” — Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties "Bracing and blazingly smart, Alice Bolin's Dead Girls could hardly be more needed or more timely.” — Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of You Will Know Me Best of summer 2018 - included on best-of lists by Bitch Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, The Millions, Esquire, Refinery29, Nylon, PopSugar, The Chicago Tribune, Book Riot, and CrimeReads In this poignant collection, Alice Bolin examines iconic American works from the essays of Joan Didion and James Baldwin to Twin Peaks, Britney Spears, and Serial, illuminating the widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are used as props to bolster men’s stories. Smart and accessible, thoughtful and heartfelt, Bolin investigates the implications of our cultural fixations, and her own role as a consumer and creator. Bolin chronicles her life in Los Angeles, dissects the Noir, revisits her own coming of age, and analyzes stories of witches and werewolves, both appreciating and challenging the narratives we construct and absorb every day. Dead Girls begins by exploring the trope of dead women in fiction, and ends by interrogating the more complex dilemma of living women – both the persistent injustices they suffer and the oppression that white women help perpetrate. Reminiscent of the piercing insight of Rebecca Solnit and the critical skill of Hilton Als, Bolin constructs a sharp, perceptive, and revelatory dialogue on the portrayal of women in media and their roles in our culture.
Breasts: The Women's Perspective on an American Obsession describes and explores our national breast fetish, which is defined as a culturally constructed obsession that is deeply interwoven with beauty standards, breastfeeding practices, and sexuality. By tracing the complex history of this erotic fascination and discovering how it affects men's and women's sexuality and their relationships, this book will help women accept their breasts as they are and provide male readers with insight into how women think and feel about their bodies. This awareness will enable them to better understand and empathize with women's experiences as objects of a cultural fetish. Focusing on adult joys and anxieties about breasts, sex, and breastfeeding, this text uses research and expert opinions from several different fields, including psychology, anthropology, sociology, mythology, and sexology. You will find several other issues in Breasts: The Women's Perspective on an American Obsession that involve men's and women's struggles with this obsession, such as: breast implants human psychology and breasts beauty standards and breast sexuality how breasts are portrayed in mythology and art how ancient religions saw the breast as a sign of motherhood and giver of life ”breast men” debates on how and why the breast evolved adolescent girls and breasts breast activists, such as La Leche League, who are proponents of breastfeeding in public Through personal interviews with men and women, Breasts: The Women's Perspective on an American Obsession also addresses women's pride and shame about their breasts and their confusion about the attention their breasts receive. Ultimately, this exploration of breast obsession sheds light on our society's general fear of and ambivalence toward women's bodies. Breasts: The Women's Perspective on an American Obsession shows you that breasts have a venerable history and urges you to see beyond the contemporary standards of visual perfection to give you an overall sense of the female body's power and worth.
.The idea of direct invasion is the greatest threat to Saddam. It avoids the problems of securing local allies, inside and outside Iraq, which bedevil any indirect approach to get rid of him. But it has one immense disadvantage from the US point of view . if the US invades Iraq to install its own government it will be taking direct physical control of an area containing more than half the world.s oil reserves. It will look like the founding of a new American empire based on physical force and will be deeply resented . It would outrage the Arabs at a moment when the Israel-Palestine conflict is in a particularly bloody phase. America could find that it has overplayed its hand, just as Saddam did when he invaded Kuwait twelve years ago...From the new Prologue At the outset of the 1991 Gulf War, US leaders resolved the .Iraqis will pay the price., so long as Saddam Hussein remained in power. This book makes chillingly clear just how terrible that price has been. Eleven years ago Saddam was caught by surprise; his preparations since September 11 show that lessons have been learnt. In a substantial new prologue the authors analyse these preparations and the terrifying consequences of a military invasion of Iraq.
In this fascinating history of the lie detector, Ken Alder exposes some persistent truths about our culture: why we long to know the secret thoughts of our fellow citizens; why we believe in popular science; and why we embrace ?truthiness.? For centuries people searched in vain for a way to unmask liars, seeking clues in the body?s outward signs: in blushing cheeks and shifty eyes. Not until the 1920s did a cop with a PhD team up with an entrepreneurial high school student and claim to have invented a foolproof machine capable of peering directly into the human heart. Scientists repudiated the technique, and judges banned its results from criminal trials, but in a few years their polygraph had transformed police work, seized headlines, and enthralled the nation.ø In this book, Alder explains why America?and only America?has embraced this mechanical method of reading the human soul. Over the course of the twentieth century, the lie detector became integral to our justice system, employment markets, and national security apparatus, transforming each into a game of bluff and bluster. The lie detector device may not reliably read the human mind, but this lively account shows that the instrument?s history offers a unique window into the American soul.
“An entertaining history of baseball cards . . . An engaging book on a narrow but fascinating topic” (The Washington Post). When award-winning journalist Dave Jamieson’s parents sold his childhood home a few years ago, he rediscovered a prized boyhood possession: his baseball card collection. Now was the time to cash in on the “investments” of his youth. But all the card shops had closed, and cards were selling for next to nothing online. What had happened? In Mint Condition, his fascinating, eye-opening, endlessly entertaining book, Jamieson finds the answer by tracing the complete story of this beloved piece of American childhood. Picture cards had long been used for advertising, but after the Civil War, tobacco companies started slipping them into cigarette packs as collector’s items. Before long, the cards were wagging the cigarettes. In the 1930s, cards helped gum and candy makers survive the Great Depression. In the 1960s, royalties from cards helped transform the baseball players association into one of the country’s most powerful unions, dramatically altering the game. In the ’80s and ’90s, cards went through a spectacular bubble, becoming a billion-dollar-a-year industry before all but disappearing, surviving today as the rarified preserve of adult collectors. Mint Condition is charming, original history brimming with colorful characters, sure to delight baseball fans and collectors. “Jamieson explores the history of card collecting through an entertaining cast of characters . . . For anyone who can recall being excited to rip open their newest pack of cards, Mint Condition is a treat.” —Forbes