In "Body Politic," David Shields looks at contemporary America through the lens of professional and college sports; the result is an unusually insightful and provocative book about Empire in denial.The sporting arena is effectively our national cathedral, the place where we gather to study our national mythology. Shields relentlessly examines the way we tell our sports stories, both fictional and nonfictional; considers the kinds of athletes we choose as heroes; delineates the lessons and values we glean from sports; explores the intricate and telling relationships between athletes, coaches, fans, black and white players, immigrant and native players, male and female players, players and broadcasters, players and fans, players and advertisers...and in the process shows us the stories we Americans tell ourselves about the kind of people we believe ourselves to be.
Chapter by chapter, a portrait emerges of a country both in conflict with itself and in denial about the sort of nation it has become: an America that sees itself as simultaneously (and impossibly) the Best of All Possible Countries and a land of ceaseless rebellion. To read this book is to understand the essential mystery of America after 9/11 -- a country utterly at odds with itself, perpetually believing in its own restlessness as it settles back into the pillows of Empire.
Condition: As New/Very Good