Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2014
Spectator sport is living, breathing, non-stop theatre for all.
Focusing on spectator sports and their accompanying issues, tracing their origins, evolution and impact, inside the lines and beyond the boundary, this book offers a thematic history of professional sport and the ingredients that magnetise millions around the globe.
It tells the stories that matter: from the gladiators of Rome to the runners of Rift Valley via the innovator-missionaries of Rugby School; from multi-faceted British exports to the Americanisation of professionalism and the Indianisation of cricket. Rob Steen traces the development of these sports which captivate the turnstile millions and the mouse-clicking masses, addressing their key themes and commonalities, from creation myths to match fixing via race, politics, sexuality and internationalism.
Insightful and revelatory, this is an entertaining exploration of spectator sports' intrinsic place in culture and how sport imitates life — and life imitates sport.