Essays on Sports, Culture, and Politics
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Contest is a riotous excursion through the contemporary sportscape. Gary Genosko uncovers the cultural and political qualities of the world of sports from its gaudiest moments-the professional spectacle of Super Sunday and Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition-to its obscure nooks and crannies, like figure-skating psychoanalyst Ernest Jones. The exploration ranges from hockey ("Disciplining Road Hockey," "Athletes as Pets") to sports' relationship with design ("Furniture and Sport"); from bodybuilding ("A Portrait of Jesus as a Young Schwarzenegger") to bike messengers; from gymnastics ("Olympian Cuteness") to memorabilia. Genosko's exhilarating approach employs an idiosyncratic mix of cultural studies, contemporary theory, and a lifetime of collecting sports cards as he celebrates the heroic amateurs and the radical losers who are the real stars of Contest.
Contest is a joy. When Genosko takes us along to the ring, the arena or the pool his passion for the games is right there. A given in a sports book, maybe - but the joy comes when he leaps from boxing to philosophy, from the blueline to nationhood. I loved it. - David Gutnick, CBC RadioWith his engaging brand of sharp intelligence and infectious wit, Gary Genosko stakes a valid claim for sports writers in the realm of cultural theorists. Whether he's taking on the malevolent cuteness of Olympic gymnastics, or taking on task pesudo-intellectual readings of SI's Swimsuit Issue, Genosko is one writer who's not going to pipe down (as so he aptly puts it) while the dumb inherit the earth - Teri Bostian, Senior Editor, SportsJones. comA sinewy romp through the atatomy of sports; a fulfulling read for discerning sporting minds.