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For some, the connection between Jews and athletics might seem far-fetched. But in fact, as is highlighted by the fourteen chapters in this collection, Jews have been participating in—and thinking about—sports for more than two thousand years. The articles in this volume scan a wide chronological range: from the Hellenistic period (first century BCE) to the most recent basketball season. The range of athletes covered is equally broad: from participants in Roman-style games to wrestlers, boxers, fencers, baseball players, and basketball stars. The authors of these essays, many of whom actively participate in athletics themselves, raise a number of intriguing questions, such as: What differing attitudes toward sports have Jews exhibited across periods and cultures? Is it possible to be a “good Jew” and a “great athlete”? In what sports have Jews excelled, and why? How have Jews overcome prejudices on the part of the general populace against a Jewish presence on the field or in the ring? In what ways has Jewish participation in sports aided, or failed to aid, the perception of Jews as “good Germans,” “good Hungarians,” “good Americans,” and so forth? This volume, which features a number of illustrations (many of them quite rare), is not only accessible to the general reader, but also contains much information of interest to the scholar in Jewish studies, American studies, and sports history.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
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  1. Front Matter
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vi-vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. viii-ix
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  1. Editor's Introduction, Contributors
  2. pp. x-xvi
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  1. Playing Roman in Jerusalem: Jewish Attitudes toward Sport and Spectacle during the Second Temple Period
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. Sports and the Graphic Novel from Diaspora to Diaspora: James Strum’s The Golem’s Mighty Swing and JT Waldman’s Megillat Esther in the Tree of Contexts
  2. pp. 25-52
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  1. The Jew in the Gym: Judaism, Sports, and Athletics on Film
  2. pp. 53-64
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  1. Is Life a Game? Athletic Competition as a Metaphor for the Meaning of Life
  2. pp. 65-78
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  1. The Jewish Athlete of Faith: On the Limits of Sport
  2. pp. 79-96
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  1. Antisemitism and Sport in Central Europe and the United States c. 1870-1932
  2. pp. 97-124
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  1. Cutting the Way into the Nation: Hungarian Jewish Olympians in the Interwar Era
  2. pp. 125-176
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  1. Grappling with Ghosts: Jewish Wrestlers and Antisemitism
  2. pp. 177-188
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  1. Sporting a Nation: The Origins of Athleticism in Modern Israel
  2. pp. 189-196
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  1. Gyms and the Academy: Professional and Personal Reflections on Stepping Up to the Scholarly Plate
  2. pp. 197-212
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  1. Jewish Women in the American Gym: Basketball, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Early Twentieth Century
  2. pp. 213-238
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  1. From Benny Leonard to Abi Olajuwon: Jews, Muslims, Evangelicals, and the Evolving Religious Challenges of being an American Athlete
  2. pp. 239-262
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  1. Buster Haywood and the Jews of Black Baseball
  2. pp. 263-274
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  1. A Global Game: Omri Casspi and the Future of Jewish Ballers
  2. pp. 275-289
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781612492391
Related ISBN
9781557536297
MARC Record
OCLC
821735117
Pages
240
Launched on MUSE
2012-09-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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