Review of Flamenco and Bullfighting

Landborn, Adair. Flamenco and Bullfighting: Movement, Passion and Risk in Two Spanish Traditions. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015. Pp. ix + 260. Appendices, glossary, notes, bibliography, and index. $45.00 paperback. Reviewed by Zachary R. Bigalke “What makes something a sport?” This is a question that vexes both casual fans and academics alike, and one which offers…

Early Afro-Brazilian Soccer Stars and the Myth of Racial Democracy  

by Zachary R. Bigalke The ideology of racial democracy cast a long shadow over twentieth-century race relations in Brazil. First popularized by influential Brazilian scholar Gilberto Freyre, this theory presumed a level racial playing field that was paradoxically dependent on the whitening of the populace. Rather than helping to drive the country toward a multiracial…

Collaboration versus Confrontation: Comparing the Successes and Failures of Major League Soccer and the American Soccer League

By Zachary R. Bigalke Major League Soccer (MLS) kicked off its 22nd season over the past weekend, welcoming two new teams into the fold to expand the league into two 11-team conferences. Fifteen years after the league contracted its two Florida teams, the long-term plan executed by Don Garber seems to have fully flowered. Having…

Review of The World Through Soccer

Bar-On, Tamir. The World Through Soccer: The Cultural Impact of a Global Sport. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Pp. xxiii+307. Appendix, notes, bibliography, and index. $92.00 hardback, $89.99 electronic book. Reviewed by Zachary R. Bigalke Anyone who has watched soccer in recent years has seen a dizzying array of different formations and tactics being…

Review of Distant Corners

Wangerin, David. Distant Corners: American Soccer’s History of Missed Opportunities and Lost Causes. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014. Pp. xiv+240. Index and 18 halftones. $50.50 clothback, $24.95 paperback and electronic book.  Reviewed by Zachary R. Bigalke Over the summer, the United States hosted the Copa America Centenario, as the South American championships expanded to 16…