CORVALLIS - A book written by an Oregon State University professor that outlines the evolution of football in the late 19th century from a modest game into a "great public spectacle" will soon be published in paperback by the University of North Carolina Press.
Michael Oriard's "Reading Football: How the Popular Press Created an American Spectacle," was first released in 1993 to rave reviews. It will be re-released in paperback beginning Aug. 31 by the UNC Press.
The book details how the press struggled with covering football in its infancy, describing it as a science, a sport of gentlemen, and a game of rules and infringements.
Wrote Robert Lipsyte of the New York Times: "No wonder we struggle against the distorted values of football and television. As Oriard brilliantly shows, those signals were called a hundred years ago when football and the popular press first ganged up to creat the cultural text that helped define manliness, violence and sexuality. 'Reading Football' is a playbook to understanding America."
The Nation wrote: "Oriard's thesis is refreshingly original."
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Oriard went on to play professionally with the Kansas City Chiefs before returning to school to earn a Ph.D. in American literature from Stanford University. He is a Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture at OSU, and has been on the faculty here since 1976.