With contributions by Prosper Godoo, Urla Hill, C. Richard King, David J. Leonard, Jack Lule, Murry Nelson, David C. Ogden, Robert W. Reising, and Joel Nathan Rosen Reconstructing Fame: Sport, Race, and Evolving Reputations includes essays on Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Curt Flood, Paul Robeson, Jim Thorpe, Bill Russell, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos. The essayists in this volume write about twentieth-century athletes whose careers were affected by racism and whose post-career reputations have improved as society's understanding of race changed. Contributors attempt to clarify the stories of these sports stars and their places as twentieth-century icons by analyzing the various myths that surround them. When media, fans, sports leagues, and the athletes themselves commemorate sports legends, shifts in popular perceptions often serve to obscure an athlete's role in history. Such revisions can lack coherence and trivialize the efforts of some legendary competitors and those associated with them. Adding racial tensions to this process further complicates the task of preserving the valuable achievements of key players.
David C. Ogden is associate professor of communication at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has published in numerous journals. |Joel Nathan Rosen is assistant professor of sociology at Moravian College and the author of The Erosion of the American Sporting Ethos: Shifting Attitudes toward Competition. |Jack Lule is the Joseph B. McFadden Professor in Journalism at Lehigh University and is associate editor of Critical Studies in Media Communication.