"Pruter describes the development and governance of high school sports during a period of their great expansion. He focuses on Chicago and Cook County, IL, but includes information about Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia, with less from other areas. . . . Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, researchers/faculty."—Choice
"Robert Pruter’s new book offers scholars a much-needed organizational history of high school athletics in the United States during the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."—American Studies Journal
"A solid contribution to not only the study of sports history, but also to our knowledge of Chicago history. Pruter’s book details the evolution of interscholastic sports in the United State and reminds us that many of the issues in high school athletics today were present some four generations ago."—Journal of Illinois History
"An outstanding example of empirical history."—American Historical Review
"High school sports researchers and enthusiasts will find this work a necessary contribution to the historical narrative."—Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society
Nearly half of all American high school students participate in sports teams. With a total of 7.6 million participants as of 2008, this makes the high school sports program in America the largest organized sports program in the world. Pruter’s work traces the history of high school sports from the student-led athletic clubs of the 1800s through to the establishment of educator control of high school sports under a national federation by the 1930s. Pruter’s research serves not only to highlight this rich history but also to provide new perspectives on how high school sports became the arena by which Americans fought for some of the most contentious issues in society, such as race, immigration and Americanization, gender roles, religious conflict, the role of the military in democracy, and the commercial exploitation of our youth.
Robert Pruter holds a master's degree in history from Roosevelt University and a master's degree in library and information science from Dominican University. He is currently the government documents and reference librarian at Lewis University. He has published Chicago Soul and Doowop: The Chicago Scene with the University of Illinois Press.
Series: Sports and Entertainment
6 x 9, 440 pages