Muscular Christianity

The following books provide a history of basketball, sports, and society. Complaints that the game is no longer pure and is corrupted by any number of factors fades away once these histories show that basketball has always been a battleground of ideas. The sport from its inception has served as a touchstone for debate on race, gender, immigration, sex, money, amateurism, pop culture, health, professionalism and labor rights.

Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880 – 1917
by Gail Bederman

Ball Don’t Lie! Myth Genealogy, and Invention in the Cultures of Basketball
by Yago Colas

Big Leagues: Professional Baseball, Football, and Basketball in National Memory
by Stephen Fox

The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History
by FreeDarko

Fit For America: Health, Fitness, Sport, and American Society
by Harvey Green

Finding a Way to Play: the Pioneering Spirit of Women in Basketball
by Joanne Lannin

The First Decade of Women’s Basketball, 1892-1905:  A Time Capsule of Media Reports from the Dawn of the Game
by The Lost Century of Sports Collection

From ‘Fair Sex’ to Feminism: Sport and the Socialization of Women in the Industrial and Post-Industrial Eras
by J.A. Mangan and Roberta Park

Basketball: Its Origin and Development
by James Naismith

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Sports: How Calvinism and Capitalism Shaped America’s Games
by Steven Overman

Patriotic Games: Sporting Tradition in the American Imagination, 1876 – 1926
by S.W. Pope

Sport in Industrial America: 1850 -1920
by Steven Riess

Crusaders for Fitness: The History of American Health Reformers
by James Whorton

Making Men,  Making Class: The YMCA and Workingmen, 1877 – 1920
by Thomas Winter

Missionaries in Hawai’i: The Lives of Peter and Fanny Gulick, 1797 – 1883
by Clifford Putney

Muscular Christianity: Manhood and Sports in Protestant America, 1880 – 1920
by Clifford Putney

They Cleared the Lane: The NBA’s Black Pioneers
by Ron Thomas

Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI
by Brian Tuohy

BACK TO: Historiography & Sources
JUMP TO: Biography ● NBA History ● Pioneers & Renegades

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