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Why Football Matters

Best Seller
Why Football Matters by Mark Edmundson
Paperback $16.00
Jun 02, 2015 | ISBN 9780143127642

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  • Jun 02, 2015 | ISBN 9780143127642

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  • Sep 04, 2014 | ISBN 9781101635728

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Product Details


Washington Post:
“Deep stuff… [Edmundson] presents a richly textured look at football as a vital part of American culture…. It shows the deep connection between football and the core values of Western culture, something that isn’t often stressed in as-told-to football books. Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to while away the time between games this season than reading it.”

Michael Roth, Huffington Post:
“Edmundson beautifully evokes the rituals of smokes, drinks and snacks that went into a workingman’s preparation for the game…. This book certainly enriches one’s sense of a game that enthralls millions of Americans with its violence and its grace. It also reminds us of how the risks and rewards of athletics can be integrated with an education for life.”

Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times
“An elegiac account of [Edmundson’s] youthful rescue and redemption on the high school gridirons of suburban Boston in the 1960s…. Why Football Matters is a moving account of his painful youth.”

St. Louis Post Dispatch:
“A from-the-heart memoir about growing up in a working-class suburb of Boston in a family devastated by the early illness and death of Edmundson’s sister…. A movingly told account of how the game taught [Edmundson] lessons that he used to direct his life.”

Library Journal:
“A wide-ranging and insightful meditation on what football means in American culture…. Beautifully written and impressively thought out, this smart memoir should appeal to a wide audience.”

Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life:
“Mark Edmundson’s first spell-binding memoir Teacher told how one inspiring high school philosophy class in the blue-collar suburb of Medford, Massachusetts, lured him into a life of the mind. Why Football Matters takes us back to Medford High and to harder, darker lessons learned on the turf of Hormel Field. I grew up in Pasadena, California, spent high school Friday nights cheering at home games in the Rose Bowl; few American lives are untouched by this supremely emblematic game that Edmundson examines with equal measures of sympathy and skepticism in a book sure to become its own American classic.”

Michael Sokolove, author of Drama High:
“Mark Edmundson’s book is a great gift for those of us who love football but can’t easily explain or justify our passion, as well as a superbly entertaining read.”

Mark Slouka:
“An essential (I’m tempted to say ‘indispensable’) guide to the guts and the glory—and, yes, the grief—of maleness in America. Edmundson has written one of those rare memoirs that dares to make the personal political, that paints the picture even as it questions it. Perceptive, passionate, intolerant of platitudes (whatever their political stripe), Why Football Matters asks what makes boys, and the men they sometimes grow into, tick. What drives us, frustrates and frightens us. What’s admirable about us, what ain’t—and why. You don’t have to know football, much less have played it—hell, even like it—to appreciate Why Football Matters; you only need to be a man, or to know one. Which covers pretty much everybody.”

David Shields:
“I’ve long admired Mark Edmundson’s work and I especially admire his new book: its understated balance, lucid prose, elegant logic, and above all for his complicity—his insistence upon acknowledging that he himself is part of the problem. (As are you, dear reader, as are you.)”

Gary Smith:
“Finally. Somebody with the required head, heart and soul skill set delivers us the game, our game, from within and without. Somebody takes us inside the helmet of a teenage boy who has offered himself to our rite of passage and makes us see-smell-hear-taste-touch it . . . while simultaneously floating above it, a psycho-spiritual scorekeeper tallying up everything that’s gained and lost in the magnificent transaction. Finally. Somebody uses Nietzsche to render Nitschke. Somebody: Mark Edmundson. Thank you!”

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