Lacrosse: A History of the Game

Lacrosse: A History of the Game

Paperback

By (author) Donald M. Fisher

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  • Publisher: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 408 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 234mm x 30mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 25 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore, MD
  • ISBN 10: 1421400448
  • ISBN 13: 9781421400440
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 36 black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 573,158

Product description

North America's Indian peoples have always viewed competitive sport as something more than a pastime. The northeastern Indians' ball-and-stick game that would become lacrosse served both symbolic and practical functions-preparing young men for war, providing an arena for tribes to strengthen alliances or settle disputes, and reinforcing religious beliefs and cultural cohesion. Today a multimillion-dollar industry, lacrosse is played by colleges and high schools, amateur clubs, and two professional leagues. In Lacrosse: A History of the Game, Donald M. Fisher traces the evolution of the sport from the pre-colonial era to the founding in 2001 of a professional outdoor league-Major League Lacrosse-told through the stories of the people behind each step in lacrosse's development: Canadian dentist George Beers, the father of the modern game; Rosabelle Sinclair, who played a large role in the 1950s reinforcing the feminine qualities of the women's game; "Father Bill" Schmeisser, the Johns Hopkins University coach who worked tirelessly to popularize lacrosse in Baltimore; Syracuse coach Laurie Cox, who was to lacrosse what Yale's Walter Camp was to football; 1960s Indian star Gaylord Powless, who endured racist taunts both on and off the field; Oren Lyons and Wes Patterson, who founded the inter-reservation Iroquois Nationals in 1983; and Gary and Paul Gait, the Canadian twins who were All-Americans at Syracuse University and have dominated the sport for the past decade. Throughout, Fisher focuses on lacrosse as contested ground. Competing cultural interests, he explains, have clashed since English settlers in mid-nineteenth-century Canada first appropriated and transformed the "primitive" Mohawk game of tewaarathon, eventually turning it into a respectable "gentleman's" sport. Drawing on extensive primary research, he shows how amateurs and professionals, elite collegians and working-class athletes, field- and box-lacrosse players, Canadians and Americans, men and women, and Indians and whites have assigned multiple and often conflicting meanings to North America's first-and fastest growing-team sport.

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Author information

Donald M. Fisher is a professor of history at Niagara County Community College.

Review quote

A sweeping history of the game. Fisher traces the emergence of modern lacrosse in both Canada and the United States. Library Journal A thoroughly researched, clearly written, handsomely designed, very comprehensive history of North American lacrosse since the mid-nineteenth century... this is one of the most informative histories of any sport that I have ever read. -- Morris Mott The Beaver This book will long serve as the standard history of lacrosse. -- Benjamin G. Rader Journal of American History Rather than provide a narrative of great players, which has been the tendency in some of the earlier writings in sports history, Fisher situates the history of lacrosse in North American its broader social and cultural context. Thus, the book is an important contribution to our understanding of how sport emerged as a professional, commercial spectacle in modern North America. -- Christina Burr Canadian Historical Review [A] Definitive history of Lacrosse... Will be enjoyed by sports fans and referenced by social historians. -- Bruce Todman Montreal Gazette

Back cover copy

North America's Indian peoples have always viewed competitive sport as something more than a pastime. The northeastern Indians' ball-and-stick game that would become lacrosse served both symbolic and practical functions. Today a multimillion-dollar industry, lacrosse is played by colleges and high schools, amateur clubs, and two professional leagues.In Lacrosse, Donald M. Fisher traces the evolution of the sport from the pre-colonial era to the founding in 2001 of a professional outdoor league, told through the stories of the people behind each step in lacrosse's development. They include the Canadian dentist George Beers, father of the modern game; Rosabelle Sinclair, who played a large role reinforcing the feminine qualities of the women's game in the 1950s; and Indian star Gaylord Powless, who in the 1960s endured racist taunts both on and off the field."This book will long serve as the standard history of lacrosse."-- "Journal of American History""An important contribution to our understanding of how sport emerged as a professional, commercial spectacle in modern North America."-- "Canadian Historical Review""A sweeping history of the game. Fisher traces the emergence of modern lacrosse in both Canada and the United States."-- "Library Journal""A thoroughly researched, clearly written, handsomely designed, very comprehensive history of North American lacrosse since the mid-nineteenth century... this is one of the most informative histories of any sport that I have ever read."-- "The Beaver""[A] definitive history of lacrosse... Will be enjoyed by sports fans and referenced by social historians."-- "Montreal Gazette"

Table of contents

Contents: Preface and Acknowledgments Prologue Contested Ground: An Introduction to the History of Lacrosse Chapter 1: Learning from the "Sons of the Forest" - The Birth of Modern Lacrosse in Canada, 1860-1914 Chapter 2: "King of the Field Games" - Lacrosse in the United States, 1879-1919 Chapter 3: "What are a Few Cuts... ?" - Defining and Defending Lacrosse, 1920-1945 Chapter 4: "Mayhem on the Lawn" - Lacrosse in the United States and Canada, 1945-1970 Chapter 5: The End of "The Lords of Lacrosse"? - The Creator's Game in the Late Twentieth Century Epilogue: Ground Still Contested - North American Cultures and the Meaning of Lacrosse Appendix: All-Time Great Lacrosse Players Notes An Essay on Sources Index