198 Book Reviews
translator for CBS television field crews covering the Nagano Olympic Winter
Games of 1998. Much of her research activity was supported by such prestigious
funding institutions as the Woodrow Wilson, Fulbright-Hayes, and Mellon Foun-
dations. For the past several years she has held a teaching position as Temporary
Lecturer at San Francisco State University.
The supreme quality of this book is its research component, a vast catalogue
of Japanese primary source material in the form of official reports, min of meet-
ings, private letters and memoranda, and Japanese newspapers of the period, all
translated personally by Collins. For Finnish, German and French sources she
needed help. She complemented her research journeys with work at the mecca of
Olympic research records, the IOC Archives in Lausanne.
So what exactly does this admirable research journey tell us? Roughly, the
book is organized along linear lines: (1) how the idea of hosting the 1940 Olympic
Games arose in Tokyo, coupled with Japanese domestic politics in trying to gain
consensus support for the idea, (2) the international politics involved in bidding for
the Games, including confrontation with co-bidders in Europe (Rome, Helsinki and
London), and winning the bid in upset fashion, (3) the rise of Japanese militarism
and its effect on hosting the Games, (4) the sad particulars surrounding Japan’s
“return” of the Games to the IOC, and (5) how the entire scenario paid dividends
for Japan in her post-World War II quest to garner the 1964 Games, which, in the
end, Tokyo did indeed celebrate and, it might be added, to world wide acclaim.
The sterling qualities of Collins’ book outweigh the weaknesses in overwhelm-
ing fashion. The prose is tight, direct, and lucid. The sources, reflected in a total
of 786 endnotes, are every bit as interesting to digest as the written text. Through
a variety of avenues, Collins has been able to gather a solid body of illustrative
material, including pictures of individuals critical to the analysis. Japanese news-
paper cartoons lend an attractive dimension to the study, both for their humor and
appropriate application to the historical account.
Though miniscule in the greater scheme of things, there are some shortcom-
ings. Some of them concern the publisher’s production of the book. For instance,
five pages at the front have nothing to do with the book—they advertise the entire
corpus of books Routledge has published in the socio-cultural study of sport. Two
pages contain a “Foreword” by J. A. Mangan and Boria Majumdar, editors of
Routledge’s Sport in Global Society Series. I would expect a “foreword” to say
something about the book in which it appears. This one mentions nothing in that
regard; rather it renders only further testimony to the “worth” of the Global Society
Series. The book’s index is both sparse (3+ pages) and incomplete for a monograph
of this nature. There are several typos, doubled words, and words missing. The
copyediting by Routledge on this book left something to be desired.
On the author’s part, Collins demonstrates some naiveté with regard to her
discussion of the torch relay, embracing traditional German romantic rationaliza-
tions on the subject, rationalizations which have been severely challenged.2 Then,
too, Collins consistently errs in her use of the word Olympiad. An Olympiad is
a period of four years, not a singular event. And, when Collins refers to the 1940
Tokyo Games as the “XIIth Olympic Games,” they are, of course, only the XIth.
Book Reviews 199
They are (or would have been) the Games of the 12th Olympiad, but not the XIIth
Olympic Games. Peculiarly, Collins several times uses the word “article” when
she really means “chapter.” Out and out gaffes are: (1) the 1908 Games being in
Paris (p. 8); (2) Russia being prohibited from participating in the1920 Games (p.
17—Collins must have meant the Central Powers); (3) the 1928 Games being in
Stockholm (p. 81); (4) the “first Olympic flame burning the whole duration of
the Amsterdam Games” (p. 124—it only burned during the daytime, except for
ceremonial occasions conducted at night); (5) there was no “Olympic flame” at
ancient Olympia, simply a prytaneion flame as in the prytaneion (town hall) of
all Greek towns and villages (p. 124); (6) the 1936 “flame kindling ceremony” at
Olympia “ took place at the temple of Hera, not Zeus (p. 125); (7) are two tsubo
(tatami mats) really the equivalent of 3,954 square yards? (p. 136); (8) it’s doubt-
ful that Carl Diem was inspired by events in antiquity for his torch relay concept,
regardless of what German scholars claim (p. 139); (9) it was not the Temple of
Hellas, but rather the Temple Of Hera, where the flame was lit (p. 184); (10) it’s
TOP (The Olympic Partners), not TOPP (p. 190); and (11) Ren Hai, the Chinese
scholar, is a “he,” not a “her” (p. 193). To be fair, some of this must be laid at the
foot of Routledge’s copy-editing, or the less than rigorous work of the scholarly
reviewers of the manuscript, of which there were two.
Despite these minor glitches, this is a marvelous piece of work. I have argued
elsewhere that the best works on single Olympic Games festivals result from doctoral
dissertations, where work is supervised closely, material is “hashed and re-hashed,”
arguments debated and re-debated, and where scholarly rigor is the central theme.
Collins’ book is a superb case in point. In my mind, The 1940 Tokyo Games: The
Missing Olympics joins the star-quality scholarship of Kevin Witherspoon to form
a duo of outstanding studies on singular editions of the Modern Olympic Games.3
Each of them, in my opinion, outranks the popularly judged classic of the genre,
Richard Mandell’s book on the 1936 Nazi Games.
1. Sandra Collins, “Orienting the Olympics: Japan and the Games of 1940,” Unpublished
doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago, 2003.
2. See Robert K. Barney and Anthony J. Bijkerk, “The Genesis of Sacred Fire in Olympic
Ceremony – A New Interpretation,” Journal of Olympic History, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2005, pp. 6-27.
3. Kevin B. Witherspoon, Before the Eyes of the World: Mexico and the 1968 Olympic
Games (DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 2008).
Emigrant Players: Sport and the Irish Diaspora
Edited by Paul Darby and David Hassan. Published in 2008 by Routledge (213
pp., $15.95 US).
Reviewed by Liam O’Callaghan, Leeds Metropolitan University
One fundamental historical problem that scholars face when assessing the function
of sport in migrant communities is the tension between assimilation and maintenance
200 Book Reviews
of cultural distinctiveness. Ireland, is this sense, arguably provides a unique test
case. Though the pioneers of Gaelic games liberally borrowed British methods of
sporting codification and bureaucratisation, they managed to create a mass sport-
ing organisation almost completely cloaked in the discourse of indigenousness,
governing the ‘native’ sports of Gaelic football and hurling and employing Irish
nationhood as a guiding principle. In addition, by the mid-1880s the Gaelic Athletic
Association was easily the most popular sporting body in the country. Those Irish
emigrants inclined towards participation in sports, therefore, historically have had
a genuine choice between assimilating to the host country’s sporting practices or
exporting their own country’s unique pastimes and the cultural connotations that
went with them. A keen awareness of this issue informs the structure and subject
matter of the collection under review with the book being divided into two sec-
tions: the first containing six chapters on the Irish Diaspora and Gaelic sport and
the second addressing the Irish Diaspora and global sport in four chapters.
Given the heterogeneity of the Irish Diaspora as an historical phenomenon, the
scope of the collection is ambitious. Not only is a multi-disciplinary approach taken,
but the volume covers a broad sweep both in terms of chronology and contexts.
The bulk of the contributors take a socio-historical approach and though the subject
matter of these chapters varies greatly in terms of time and place, the strength of
the book lies in the fact that a relatively coherent set of historical trends and issues
can be derived from such diverse research. We see, conclusively, for instance in the
respective chapters by Paul Darby and Joseph Bradley that the vitality of Gaelic
games among the Irish populations of New York and Scotland was dependent on
new waves of migrants and that in periods of reduced Irish migration to these loca-
tions, second generation Irish (in common with most Irish migrants in any case)
showed a tendency towards assimilation by abandoning Gaelic games in favour
of local sports. In addition perceived anti-Irish feeling could stunt the progress of
Gaelic games across an array of contexts—from economic migrants to America
in the nineteenth century to Irish students in British universities in the second half
of the twentieth century (as illustrated in the fascinating chapter by McAnallen,
Mossey and Moore).
Another derivable theme from the book is the manner in which different ideas of
nationality, and in this case ‘Irishness’ can be exported and repackaged in different
sporting contexts. Promoting nationality was not monopolised by the GAA and as
is illustrated through Bradley’s work on Celtic Football club in Scotland and Ryan
and Wamsley’s chapter in Irish identity in Toronto, it is clear that a strong sense of
‘Irishness’ could also be promoted through the sporting activities of the host nation.
Bearing these themes in mind, the book clearly builds upon Mike Cronin’s work
Sport and Nationalism in Ireland: Gaelic Games, Soccer and Irish identity since
1884, (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1999) which examines competing expressions
of nationality through sport in the context of events on the island itself.
Given the successful and lucid interweaving of themes in the chapters with
an historical emphasis, the inclusion of the ethnographic and psychological chap-
ters by McCarthy and Free respectively upset the flow and focus of the book and
though fine as stand alone pieces, they do not make substantive contributions to
the key historical issues at hand. The book also contains some factual anomalies.
McCarthy’s reference to ‘Gaelic sport’ being played in Australia from the 1840s
could lead one to believe that such sports properly existed before 1884—the year
Book Reviews 201
that the first sustained attempts to regulate folk games under ‘Gaelic’ rules were
made. In this case, the sporting activity referred to was likely to have been semi-
regulated at best and bereft of the political associations that the properly codified
Gaelic sports would acquire after 1884. One further factual misrepresentation
occurs in the McAnallen et al chapter, where the description of non-Gaelic sports
as ‘Anglophile’ carries potentially misleading connotations. These slight bugbears
aside, however, this is a very useful collection that should be of considerable inter-
est to historians of Irish sport and the Irish Diaspora alike.
Hunting for Empire: Narratives of Sport in Rupert’s Land,
By Greg Gillespie. Published in 2008 by the University of British Columbia
Press (200 pp., $32.95 US).
Reviewed by S.P. Morris, The Ohio State University.
Hunting for Empire is a cultural history of hunting, travel writing, and empire. The
book is vastly interdisciplinary and firmly deconstructionist. Drawing on primary
sources from mid-19th century big-game hunters in the Western interior of Rupert’s
Land the book examines the themes of authorship, sport, science, and nature in
separate but dependent chapters, each under the broader theme of imperialism. The
expressed intent is “to write the British empire, and in this specific case, big-game
hunters, back into the history of British imperialism in Canada” (p. xxvii).
This much and more is accomplished. The interdisciplinary nature of the book
is a strength to the extent that it allows a thoroughly contextualized presentation of
the narratives in question. Keen insights are drawn throughout book with regard
to the usually-obvious yet sometimes-subtle manifestations of class, gender, and
race in the narratives under interrogation. The more broadly conceptualized themes
of dispossession and appropriation are nicely fore-grounded through the duration
of the text allowing the careful reader a multi-dimensional lens through which to
read the texts. While the four central chapters of the book are contextually depen-
dent they have the potential to stand-alone. Ultimately the theme of sport hunting
is subordinate to imperialism per the broader theme of the book but the chapter
devoted to it (Chapter 3: “Cry Havoc? British Imperial Hunting Culture”) stands
out as a particularly interesting selection for scholars of sports, and sports histo-
rians in particular. It is also the only selection from the book, save some brief but
important comments and footnotes in other chapters, to step outside the bounds of
an anthropocentric analysis, which in my view, is an important contribution to a
growing discourse on interspecies “sport.”
Paradox is a recurrent theme of the book. Paradox and irony are often bed-
fellows. The interdisciplinary nature of the book is, in my view, a paradoxical
weakness. While it adds breadth and context to the historical analysis it also
manifests, occasionally, in the form of ambiguity within the text. No less than a
dozen “approaches” or “theories” traverse the stage on which the book unfolds.
Readers without an exceptionally broad epistemological foundation will not likely
detect and/or follow some of the more nuanced arguments and connections drawn
202 Book Reviews
between various sections of the book as the various “approaches” and “theories” are
adequately referenced but go without explanation. The text is brief, yet redundant
at times; thus readers may have stood to gain more through a more prudential use
of space (e.g., introducing theory and subsequently reducing potential ambiguity).
Furthermore, there is an admission of weakness in placing emphatic importance
on such a limited selection of primary sources and a certain contradiction (rather
than a paradox) in claiming that these narratives “cry out for historical scrutiny”
(p. 10) immediately prior to conducting what is, for better or worse, a thorough
deconstruction of said texts. In other words, there is a certain contradiction in claim-
ing an important historical role for these narratives, and then subjecting them to
historical deconstruction. If this is yet another paradox rather than a contradiction,
then it is not sufficiently illustrated.
The book, however, weaves a fascinating web for any scholar interested in
imperialism, 19th century Canadian/British history, and to a marginally lesser
degree, hunting. It is well researched and broadly written. There are seventeen
figures throughout the book, drawn from the various narratives under examination,
most of which illustrate the relevant discussions efficiently, effectively, and at times
even affectively (e.g., figures depicting the vertical and horizontal sublime often
encountered as big-game hunters (re-) discovered various landscapes). It is another
in a small but growing crowd of texts that include history and hunting (collectively)
in their purview. As has been argued before, such a widely popular and histori-
cally resilient “sport” (i.e., hunting) is more deserving of attention from scholars
than is currently reflected in the literature. For anyone eager to take up the study
of hunting, 19th century Canadian/British history, and/or imperialism, Hunting for
Empire is worth the read.
The Metrosexual: Gender, Sexuality, and Sport
By David Coad. Published in 2008 by the State University of New York Press
(214 pp., $16.95 US).
Reviewed by Andrew Novak, independent researcher.
According to David Coad, traditional gender roles on the playing field are in flux.
Metrosexuality has subverted the old “jock culture” stereotype that pervaded
sports of the past. “Jock culture” used to signify a world of rugged and unrefined
masculinity, with excesses in sports rape, sexual violence, homophobia, and other
destructive behaviors. British cultural critic Mark Simpson coined the term “metro-
sexual” in the mid-1990s to characterize men who seek to portray themselves as
passive objects of desire, to be admired by their male peers, a term now applicable
to many highly paid or highly sponsored athlete-consumers. Metrosexual male
athletes no longer need to prove their masculinity through expressions of power.
“Metrosexuality means that [sexual] passivity can be shared by men and women
rather than be confused with femininity” (p. 197). Now soccer player David Beck-
ham, swimmer Ian Thorpe, quarterback Joe Namath, and their peers have become
ambassadors of high fashion, cover models for glossy magazines, and celebrity
endorsers of cosmetic and style products. Athlete advertising of undergarments,
accessories, swimwear, and cologne is commonplace.
Book Reviews 203
Coad’s timely and original book traces the origins of the metrosexual phe-
nomenon from its antecedents in the European “dandy” phenomenon of stylish,
clothes-conscious men in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the American
“playboy” phenomenon of hedonistic male consumers in the early twentieth cen-
tury. The delicate idleness of Oscar Wilde dandyism and the consumerism of Jay
Gatsby playboyism fused with changes in shopping habits and advertising in the
1970s and 1980s. Using an impressive array of print media sources, Coad traces
the history of the advertising revolution using men to target men. In a series of
essays, he describes the reinvention of the New York-based style magazine GQ and
the pioneering efforts of Ralph Lauren in athlete advertising and sport-influenced
fashion. Since that time, well-paid athletes have formed close, often personal con-
nections to some of the largest and highest-end fashion designers on both sides of
the Atlantic, beginning with Giorgio Armani in the late 1980s.
The second half of Coad’s book includes a series of four essays on specific
aspects of the metrosexual revolution, each of which serves to refine his theory. The
first essay is on the development of underwear advertising and athlete modeling.
Undergarments have become a fashion accessory in themselves, accompanied by
more revealing changes in style, shape, and color. He later describes the rise among
African-American athletes and the consequent mainstreaming of a “pimped out”
look involving expensive and often visually shocking garments and accessories.
Athletic fashion photography, the subject of a third essay, has made nude athletic
bodies mainstream in such outlets as sports calendars, Abercrombie & Fitch cata-
logs, and soccer albums, a phenomenon Coad calls “spornography” (p. 144). Each
of these essays strengthens his theory that heterosexual men are becoming sex icons
to be admired by other men.
Much of Coad’s hypothesis traces developments in the history of sexuality.
One weakness of the book may be an underemphasis on developments in the his-
tory of sport that made such a revolution possible. Sport has, for a century, become
much more integrated and universal, challenging old masculine-dominated myths
of athletics. Coad hints at this trend toward non-gendered sport by discussing
the rise of openly gay athletes. Metrosexuals are not replicating the nudity of the
ancient Greeks, engaged in hierarchical, male-only ritual sport; they are subverting
it. The most important development is one Coad does not rigorously address—the
change in economic roles as both professional and amateur sports are sources of
huge amounts of money today. The metrosexual revolution, especially popular
among wealthy or highly sponsored athletes, is the product of this major economic
shift. Athletes want to display their wealth as much as they display their fashion.
Coad’s greater theory, however, is strong, as recent developments highlight.
Intense media coverage surrounded American swimmer Michael Phelps’s eight
gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, intensely exposing his body. Phelps has not
displayed the formerly typical heterosexual insecurity that comes with a sexual-
ization of one’s body. In addition, the gold medal won by openly gay Australian
platform diver Matthew Mitcham gave the excessively talkative and politically
active Mitcham a fan base far beyond the gay community. In an interview with
The Advocate, Mitcham called platform diving “such an easy sport to be out in”
because of its artistry and grace; “much easier than football where you have to be
rugged and strong and masculine” (Aug. 26, 2008). In September 2008 Mitcham
secured a sponsorship by the men’s swimwear and underwear company aussieBum,
204 Book Reviews
becoming an openly gay “sex object” marketed to straight men. Both in their early
20s, Phelps and Mitcham represent a new generation of sportsmen, not bound by
traditional gender roles—or even, perhaps, traditional metrosexual roles.
Sport as a Form of Human Fulfillment: An Organic Phi-
losophy of Sports History, vols. I & II
By Robert G. Osterhoudt. Published in 2006 by Trafford Publishing. (821 pp.)
Reviewed by Ken Kirkwood, University of Western Ontario.
These tomes represent the ultimate accomplishment for Dr. Osterhoudt’s long and
notable academic career. The product of 30 years of accumulation, contemplation
and development, this work represents a formidably expansive treatment of this
history of humanity and sport.
Beginning with the “big bang” origins of the universe and proceeding through
to the year 2000, Osterhoudt’s ambition is to demonstrate for the reader the essential
relationship between human culture and sport. The author is mindful to operation-
alize his ideal typology of sport as one that rejects the militarized, nationalistic
and commercialized aspects of the modern spectacle, and is more beholding to
an “authentic” relationship with humanity and the culture that grows out of that
To read this book is to experience detailed research and reporting. The author
adopted a methodology reminiscent of a “process philosophy” of sport history, and
the goal of such a method is to include all relevant aspects of the process, because
every process is complex.1 One can understand it as intellectual needlepoint, every
drop stitch is as important as the other, because only by full inclusion, can all the
stitches provide the desired ends. If one judges texts by the breadth of its scope,
then one cannot fault this book, as it is exhaustive.
Osterhoudt proceeds through parallel, but related, histories of ideas, geo-polit-
ical developments and other topics of social history while also giving us a detailed
history of sporting development. As mentioned earlier, the book begins 18 billion
years before publication, which is a puzzling inclusion when one is speaking of
sport and the relationship with human existence. Having read both volumes closely,
it is unclear to me how the brief treatment of Earth’s pre-human prehistory is at
all relevant. The origins, existence and nature of protozoa, as examined in the first
volume (p.6), are to my mind, entirely tangential to the products of human culture.
The volumes take the reader on an excruciating tour of minutiae, that should
be admired for the resolute discipline required for such research and writing, but
questioned for value and relevance. The sections of intellectual history puts one in
mind of F. C. Copleston’s seminal nine volume work on the matter,2 while the sport
history section is a compilation of sport history that is no better than any other—it is
simply ‘more,’ than other offerings. While reading it, I was put in mind of someone
‘cutting and pasting’ together portions of very good, but existing historical treat-
ments of the various historical epochs. There was nothing new to speak of in this
text, just more of it—much, much more.
Book Reviews 205
This text is a formidable work. The breadth of the treatment, and the sheer
mass of the publication took me back to reading Gibbon’s enormous The Decline
and Fall of the Roman Empire.3 The primary difference in my view is that Gib-
bon’s inclusions were all relevant, but Osterhoudt seems to have succumbed to the
inclusion of detail for the sake of detail.
1. Nicholas Rescher, Process Philosophy: A Survey of Basic Issues (Pittsburgh: University of
Pittsburgh Press, 2000).
2. F. C. Copleston, A History of Philosophy, vols.1-9 (Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1948).
3. E. Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (New York: P. F. Collier & Son,