Ringside: A History of Professional Wrestling in America




Author: Scott M. Beekman
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2006
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 224
Isbn10 Code: 027598401X
Isbn13 Code: 9780313026782


From The biggest question about pro wrestling is, Why, when it's one of the oldest and most consistently popular sports in history, does it maintain an unshakable reputation as marginal, disreputable, and sleazy? The book's author--a history professor and not a slavish fan of the sport--begins at the beginning, with a discussion of wrestling's worldwide history and appeal. Then he zeroes in on the U.S., with which pro wrestling has become inextricably linked. It's a story of sportsmanship, ego, celebrity, greed, and rivalry. It's just like any other sports story, in other words, and that's the book's central theme: for all its image problems, pro wrestling is, when you come right down to it, a sport like any other. An eye--opening reappraisal of a much--maligned sport, and (for wrestling fans) perhaps a much-needed vindication. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved Review "The book's author--a history professor and not a slavish fan of the sport--begins at the beginning, with a discussion of wrestling's worldwide history and appeal. Then he zeroes in on the U.S., with which pro wrestling has become inextricably linked. It's a story of sportsmanship, ego, celebrity, greed, and rivalry. It's just like any other sports story, in other words, and that's the book's central theme: for all its image problems, pro wrestling is, when you come right down to it, a sport like any other. An eye-opening reappraisal of a much-maligned sport, and (for wrestling fans) perhaps a much-needed vindication." - Booklist "Beekman sets out to generate some respect for professional wrestling by fully examining the history of the sport in the US. He untangles the myths and legends of professional wrestling without skimping on the entertaining stories and the larger-than-life personalities. He provides a brief account of wrestling's global history before investigating the sport as a specifically American institution, focusing on the business of wrestling as well as the performers and their antics." - Reference & Research Book News "Beekman has written an excellent account of the history of professional wrestling from its origins in ancient civilizations to its current status as entertainment in the US. His meticulous research is evident in the copious documentation. He includes an insightful discussion of the business practices wrestlers and promoters have engaged in to preserve this pseudo-sport and make it one of the US's leading entertainment industries. Like Elliot Gorn's The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America, Beekman's historical view of the rise of professional wrestling looks at how the sport mirrors blue-collar society. Readers may have difficulty--as this reviewer did--keeping track of the names of individuals, organizations, and cartels that pepper this history. The book includes a notes section and a lengthy bibliography. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers." - Choice "Beekman's book is thick with historical detail and archival evidence, which makes it a real resource for research into professional wrestling's enduring allure." - TDR: The Drama Review

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