Sunday, January 05, 2003

Philip Spooner, writing in today's Nation, draws our attention to Sports Illustrated's recent Top 100 Sports Books of All Time list, compiled by that magazine's editors. C.L.R. James's Beyond a Boundary is number 36 on the list; here's the Sports Illustrated blurb:

The Trinidadian Marxist's cricket-drenched memoir is equal parts sports, history and philosophy. American readers will need to bone up on the game (the 1983 U.S. edition has a four-page primer), but James' musings on culture and colonialism are worth the effort.

It's not surprising that books on baseball & American football overwhelmingly dominate the list, but could the editors really not find a single other cricket book worthy of note?

The top book, incidentally, was A.J. Liebling's boxing volume The Sweet Science, a collection of New Yorker essays. Apart from Beyond a Boundary, the only book I've read of the hundred is Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It (no. 11), which I must admit I've never thought of as a sports book.

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