- Book Notes
Budig, Gene A. Grasping the Ring II: Nine People Who Matter. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010. Pp. xii+103. Photographs. Foreword by Thomas Curley. $14.95 pb.
Budig, former president of the American League, offers a sequel to a previously published work that presents brief, laudatory biographies of people he deems to be exceptional in their achievements. Each is affiliated with sports, primarily baseball, in some way: Rachel Robinson, Bill Veeck, Bob Costas, Gene Autry, Bob Gibson, Billy Beane, Jerry West, Stan Kasten, and Bud Selig. Given the author’s academic credentials as a professor and president or chancellor at three universities, the book is surprisingly devoid of any new information or insightful analysis and is obviously aimed at the general public.
Gerald R. Gems
North Central College
Mcdonagh, Eileen, and Laura Papano. Playing with the Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal in Sports. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
The goal of Playing with the Boys is to raise awareness about the myth of female inferiority in sport and the belief that women cannot be held to the same standards as men in all aspects of life including athletics, education, and professions. This book addresses the many facets of Title IX; however, the main focus is on sports because of its immense influence on American life and the fear that if women cannot be respected on the playing field, how will they ever get ahead in life off of the field? Since Title IX does not protect women to the fullest extent, this book states that the combination of Title IX, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Fourteenth Amendment should together ensure that all individuals are treated equally despite their race or sex. However, the authors assert that Title IX has a lot of room for improvement in several different aspects. Another prominent theme found throughout the book is that women are assumed to be inherently inferior to [End Page 179] men; this is the reason for sex segregation in every competitively recognized sport. From chess to basketball, the rules for women are different for virtually every sport played by men. The rules are designed to make the game easier for the women (a smaller ball, shorter game times, etc.). The authors contend that by making sports easier for women, sex role distinctions and the belief that males are superior are reinforced. There is a limited discussion of the history of women in sport and the ever continuing fight for equal rights in sports.
Allison Slater and Alison Wrynn
California State University at Long Beach
Macht, Norman L. Football’s Last Iron Men: 1934, Yale vs. Princeton, and One Stunning Upset. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010. Pp. 154. Photographs. $14.95 pb.
The book represents an article of sports trivia that, in retrospect, the author deemed to be of particular significance, chronicling the last game in which eleven players completed an entire contest without substitution. He provides a weekly account of each team’s fortunes over the duration of the 1934 season, with the penultimate game as the highlight, in which eleven Yale stalwarts played both offensive and defensive positions for the entirety of the contest and defeated the favored Princeton squad. The absence of any notes, an index, or substantive analysis is indicative that the book is intended for the general reading public.
Gerald R. Gems
North Central College [End Page 180]