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The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game [Anglais] [Broché]

John Fox

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Description de l'ouvrage

15 mai 2012 P.S.

Anthropologist John Fox sets off on a worldwide adventure to thefarthest reaches of the globe and the deepest recesses of our ancientpast to answer a question inspired by his sports-loving son:

"Why do we play ball?"

From Mexican jungles to the small-town gridirons of Ohio, frommedieval villages and royal courts to modern soccer pitches andbaseball parks, The Ball explores the little-known origins ofour favorite sports across the centuries, and traces how a simpleinvention like the ball has come to stake an unrivaled claim on ourpassions, our money, and our lives. Equal parts history and travelogue,The Ball removes us from the scandals and commercialism of today'ssports world to uncover the true reasons we play ball, helping us reclaimour universal connection to the games we love.

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“Anybody who has ever thrown, caught, bounced, hit (or whiffed) a ball will mightilyenjoy John Fox’s stories of where all these balls came from, and why, from our earliestdays, they have been such an integral part of the very fun that makes us human.” (Frank DeFord, author of The Old Ball Game)

“[In THE BALL], a realm of behavior that we take for granted is seen anew in all of its original strangeness. The ball itself—whether made of grass and beeswax, opossum pelts, kangaroo scrotums or seal hides—is depicted freshly as an extraordinary invention of human happiness.” (Will Blythe, The Wall Street Journal)

“John Fox is dauntless…The Ball is a fascinating read that – like a good ball game – is both compelling and fun.” (Wired)

“John Fox is equal parts historian, anthropologist, world traveler, sports nut, and storyteller. The Ball is a fascinating exploration not just of the games we play but why we play them—of what our ballgames tell us about ourselves.” (William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob)

“A fun and anecdotal new book…which uses the evolution of the ball itself to trace mankind’s progress from prehistory through ancient Egypt and gladiatorial Rome to the births of modern sports like tennis and “base-ball.” (New York Post)

“In tracing the fascinating history of ball games — from the primal contests between prehistoric tribes playing with stuffed balls of grass, to the hypercommercialized violence of twenty-first-century Super Bowls — readers witness the evolution of more than just sports…A book for fans and scholars alike!” (Booklist)

“An anthropologist and freelance journalist debuts with a peripatetic analysis of our ball games — where they came from, how they evolved and why we love them. Fox darts around the globe to show us the origins of our games…crackerjack reporting crackles throughout.” (Kirkus)

Biographie de l'auteur

John Fox has excavated ancient ball courtsin Central America, traced Marco Polo's route acrossChina, and bicycled Africa's Rift Valley in search ofhuman origins. He has contributed commentary to VermontPublic Radio as well as Smithsonian, Outside, andSalon, among other publications. He lives in Boston.

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  19 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Think you know a lot about sports? 13 juin 2012
Par ljk50 - Publié sur
This is the kind of nonfiction book I really love, because it conveys so much information -- and so many things I didn't know -- in such an enjoyable way. I can't believe how much research Fox did to write this book, and how skillfully he's pulled all that research together to provide an ever-interesting narrative about each sport. I learned a great deal -- even about sports I thought I knew well.

I love the way Fox weaves in stories of particular individuals who represent something important about a sport's development, such a Yale footbal player and later coach Walter Camp, who did so much to shape football into the game we know now and Charles Naismith, the inventor of basketball. And it's amazing how many "modern" problems in sports -- such as concern over excessive violence and worry about sports being a distraction from more important things -- have been around for centuries.

Fox introduced me to some pretty wild sports I knew nothing about, too, such as the ancient game of Ba' in the Orkney Islands and ulama in Central America. It's fascinating to discover the roots of our modern games, and to see just how long people have been playing with balls and taking their play very seriously.

This is a great read that will give you lots of tidbits about sports to trot out at the bar and impress your friends!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fun for all 29 mai 2012
Par horn#1 - Publié sur
This is an insightful and meaningful exploration of the world of games with balls. Fox does an outstanding job of describing human fascination with balls and the games we have created as a result. Impressively, he also considers ball play in species other than human. This unique combination of cross-cultural and cross-species comparisons results in a delightful book that is informative and fun to read.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A new sphere of understanding 27 mai 2012
Par rstark - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Having played sports around the clock and throughout the year growing up, I thought I knew firsthand why anyone bothered to chase, kick, hit, throw or catch a ball (or object) while risking injury and, maybe worse, humiliation. Now I know better. The Ball by John Fox is insightful, fun, heartwarming and, yes, in an orb all its own.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 You're going to like it... 3 octobre 2012
Par Ralph Catalano - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
First, full disclosure: I am a (non-writing) colleague of John's. While I'm also a lifelong sports fan, this book is a lot more "anthropology made fun" than "what are the roots of our current popular sports". So whether you come at this from "I wonder why I enjoy games played with a ball" or "how can all those people spend so much time on games played with a ball" you will find enjoyment as he weaves together his reading of history, his travels and conversations to demonstrate how deeply the roots of our pastimes run. If I'd only read the chapter about Scotland and "the ba'" I would have considered it a great and enjoyable learning experience. Of course, there is much more and John's style - which I would describe as "elegantly conversational" - really adds to the experience.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Who needs to Play Ball? 16 juillet 2012
Par REMAR SUTTON - Publié sur
In the past 20 years, I've been on treks with author John Fox in Australia, the Galapagos Islands, and on the Amazon (River--not the company!) and I can tell you that John's book is as interesting and intelligent as John himself. That's saying a lot.

John could make a ball of string interesting. He has a very deft way of weaving together history, emotion and competition in a manner that makes you marvel. And best of all for me, John let's us all know, as he says, that it is good "We all play," good we all need to play ball in some manner, and are better for it in our professional and personal lives.

Hold my comments to a high standard, since I know John, but I'll bet you'll agree with me after reading the book.

A former Washington Post Columnist
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