- Bibliography of Books about American Football, 1891–2015 by Ralph Hickok
Ralph Hickok has performed a valuable service for all researchers of American football by compiling a massive bibliography of books on the subject, surpassing that of Myron Smith in 1993, at an exceptional price. Hickok’s opus eliminates other forms of football, such as soccer, rugby, and Australian versions of the sport. Other than that, the compilation is extensive and inclusive, with books grouped in twenty-three general categories, covering six-man football, flag football, touch football, youth football, the high school game, instructional texts, football cards and collectibles, and even fantasy football. Of particular interest to sport scholars might be the biographies and memoirs of players and coaches and particular reference works. The histories cover general works, as well as regional and conference chronicles, college and professional team annals, and rivalries. Issues such as drugs, labor relations, economics, legal matters, medical concerns, media, and race and ethnicity are accorded their own categories. [End Page 110]
The bibliographic entries follow the same format as the Journal of Sport History book reviews but also include ISBN and OCLC numbers for ease of reference and procurement. Some entries even include descriptions. A helpful index is arranged by author and subject.
Despite the book’s comprehensive nature, a few cautions are in order. Semi-professional football is one of the few omissions, and there is little on the globalization of the game, with only minor references to the United Kingdom. Moreover, the compilation of works on women’s football is disappointing, amounting to largely chauvinistic guides to understanding for the presumably less-knowledgeable female fan. Some work by female authors, however, is noteworthy, especially Julie Des Jardin’s recent biography of Walter Camp. The bibliography is current up through 2015 and can also be useful to graduate students in search of a thesis or dissertation topic.