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126 Canadian Review of American Studies institutions, and they may have done so with a hobbled capacity for moral reasoning brought on by the post-Victorian era. What is not being said here, however, is what Dahl himself seems to have accepted over the past forty years: if a demos is only as good as the social structures through which it develops, then it is with those structures that we must always begin. Only then might America regains Abrams's lost moral anchor or achieve Citrin's "normative integration," (96) and only then might the work of the late Dahl finally eclipse that of the early. Peter Lindsay University of Toronto George Eisen and David K. Wiggins, eds. Ethnicity and Sport in North American History and Culture. Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture, no. 40. Westport: Greenwood Press. 1994. This anthology, Eisen informs us in his brief introduction, chronicles "how society attempted to use sport in moulding people with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds into a coherent national and social entity" (xiv), and how these immigrants and migrants, male and female, used "sport as a social and cultural institution through which [they] attempted to gain social and psychological acceptance and cultural integration" (page xi). Or, to put it more simply, its purpose is to provide the reader with "an overview of ethnic contribution to sport and, conversely, examine the impact of sport on ethnic culture" (xv). In the process, the editors maintain, their collection fills "one of the most glaring gaps in the literature[,] ... the lack of research dealing with the involvement of ethnic groups in North American sport" (ix). Ethnicity and Sport contains twelve original essays drawn from the experiences of a cross-section of North American ethnic and racial groups from the early nineteenth century to the present. Chapters include studies of Native Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, African Americans, European immigrant communities in Canada, and immigrant women, among others. The approach is interdisciplinary, and, overall, this constitutes one of the book's strengths. On the other hand, it does lead to some confusion in methodology and approach as one moves from the analysis of one ex- BookReviews 127 perience to the next. The most effective essays are those with a strong historical methodology. The attempt to include a Canadian component in order to illustrate the socalled similarities and differences of the two societies' experience does not succeed. There is no problem with the Canadian article, a well-researched and written appraisal of radical immigrants (mostly Finnish and Ukrainian) and the thriving Workers' Sports Federation, which they formed during the interwar years. Rather, the problem is that it is the sole Canadian perspective offered, and, as such, ambitious claims of a comparative study are hard to sustain. Several of the essays stand out. Eric Solomon's "Jews and Baseball: A Cultural Love Story" is a superbly crafted study of the integration of Jews into American life, and, at the same time, the expression of their Jewishness, through baseball. The Jewish adoption of baseball is, after all, a clear illustration of how ethnic groups-in this instance, Jewish Americans-absorbed a social or cultural institution on their own terms, adapting it to their own needs. Solomon is particularly effective in illustrating his point when he interweaves the rich, baseball-laden Jewish-American literary tradition into his analysis. In contrast, David Wiggins's "The Notion of Double-Consciousness and the Involvement of Black Athletes in American Sport" focuses on the "double consciousness" of being black and American. The competing pressures of uconforming" with the norms of a conservative, white-dominated sporting establishment and sporting public-being a 'credit to their race'-while at the same time feeling pressure to express the oppression of their own communities took its toll. Here is a saga of sport as a quest for individual and group psychological acceptance. But, at the same time, the Wiggins article amply illustrates, for instance in the experience of the black leagues, the impact of persistent and invidious discrimination on acculturation to sport, that American sport could "at least as much [be] a psychological remedy for the well-being of an ethnic-racial community, in a climate of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-114X
Print ISSN
0007-7720
Pages
pp. 126-128
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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