Thursday, December 30, 2004

Mandelbaum! Mandelbaum!

No, not Izzy... I just finished reading Michael Mandelbaum's The Meaning of Sports: Why Americans Watch Baseball, Football, and Basketball and What They See When They Do and was pleasantly surprised. As a sports fan, particularly baseball, and as someone interested in the literature of "strategic culture," this title interested me. You see Mandelbaum is also a bit of a sports nut as well as a leading American analyst of foreign affairs. In this book, Mandelbaum surveys baseball, football, and basketball and compares them with American tendencies from the agrarian, industrial, and information ages. It reads a tad "pop sociology" in places, but all-in-all I thought he offered some useful insights.

I am working on something now that will illustrate American geostrategic culture using some sports analogies. When I complete that, I'll come back and lay out some more details. In the meantime, if you enjoy sports and foreign policy, Mandelbaum's book is time well spent.

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