College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy ) suggests that presidents' athletic endeavors reveal a lot about their actions "/>

The Games Presidents Play: Sports and the Presidency

John Sayle Watterson, Author . Johns Hopkins Univ. $29.95 (402p) ISBN 978-0-8018-8425-2

Sports historian Watterson (College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy ) suggests that presidents' athletic endeavors reveal a lot about their actions in office: presidents who play team sports, for example, are more likely to approach the presidency as a team player. Though Watterson glances briefly at 18th- and 19th-century presidents, this book really begins with the ever-so-athletic Teddy Roosevelt. In the 20th century, presidents used sports to craft a manly image; indeed, athletic ability has become almost a prerequisite for getting elected. One of the most surprising chapters examines Calvin Coolidge, perhaps the least athletic of the modern presidents, yet he was savvy about sport, cozying up to athletic stars and turning his awkward attempts at fishing into a symbol of his rural roots. Bill Clinton was not a natural athlete, but he loved golf. Yet he sometimes broke the rules on the links—a cavalier attitude that, in Watterson's view, foreshadowed his troubles with Monica Lewinsky. Occasionally, Watterson overstates his case, as when he claims, "Increasingly, sports have defined the presidency," or when he argues that Woodrow Wilson's efforts to reform college football presaged his 1913 call for progressive banking and tariff reform. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable study of politics and culture. 30 b&w photos, 1 illus. (Oct. 31)

Reviewed on: 08/07/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 402 pages - 978-0-8018-9258-5
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.