BJ-- Sports; Recreation

Fußball als Kulturgut: geschichtliche, soziologische, ökonomische, rechtliche, politische und philosophische Aspekte; eine kommentierte Bibliographie [Soccer as Cultural Property: Historical, Sociological, Economic, Legal, Political, and Philosophical Aspects; an Annotated Bibliography]. Jürgen Schiffer. Köln: Sport und Buch Strauß, 2004. ii, 820 p. 21 cm. (Wissenschaftliche Berichte und Materialien 2004, 6). ISBN 3-89001-397-X: EUR 39.50 [05-1-172]

As the subtitle indicates, Fußball als Kulturgut attempts to cover almost every aspect of the game, apart from materials dealing with training, sports medicine, or other physiological topics. Reflecting the internationally pervasive interest in the sport, both at popular and academic levels, chapters cover a wide range of topics, from history to contemporary issues such as soccer and violence, from sports publicity to soccer in individual countries and regions, from tournaments and teams to reference works. This comprehensive reach results in some uneven quality. Most of the materials cited date from after 1980. Some articles are not selective enough in the choice of materials, while in other cases there are significant omissions, for example a curious lack of memoirs by significant players and of team histories. The selection and arrangement of topics is not intuitive and the lack of indexes to personal names, teams, leagues, and other organizations makes the bibliography difficult to use. The overwhelming volume of material and lack of geographic or temporal focus results almost inevitably in a superficial treatment. The exemplary Football Compendium (Boston Spa, 1999, see IFB 01-1-112), focusing on British association soccer, demonstrates the potential depth of treatment, sadly still lacking for German soccer. [mk/ab]

Bibliographie zum Sport im Altertum: für die Jahre 1989-2002 [Bibliography of Sport in Antiquity for the Years 1989-2002]. Wolfgang Decker and Barbara Rieger. Köln: Sport und Buch Strauß, 2005. 272 p. 21 cm. (Schriftenreihe der Zentralbibliothek der Sportwissenschaften der Deutschen Sporthochschule Köln, 4). ISBN 3-89001-263-9: EUR 24.80 [05-2-381]

Wolfgang Decker, professor of the history of sports at the Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln [German College of Sport in Cologne], has dedicated his scholarly career to the history of sports in antiquity and has done pioneering work in the history of sports in ancient Egypt. Barbara Rieger is his student. Decker was a decisive force behind the founding of Nikephoros: Zeitschrift für Sport und Kultur im Altertum [Nikephoros: Journal for Sport and Culture in Antiquity]. The book under review is a revised cumulation of the annual bibliographies which have appeared in that journal. 2,795 titles are listed for the period 1989-2002. Individual chapters cover reference works, pre-Graeco-Roman cultures, Greece, Rome, and subsequent developments in sports. A comprehensive list of monograph reviews, international in scope (including titles in Greek) is a welcome inclusion. An index of authors concludes the work, but there is no index for persons, places, or subjects.

The very detailed organization of the bibliography facilitates subject searches, even when this or that classification is debatable. Oddly, the overlarge subdivisions “Allgemeines” or “Übergreifendes” [General studies] appear as the last and not the first of nine subdivisions in the chapter on Greece, as well as the last of ten subdivisions in the chapter on Rome. Some of the material in these sections would have been better placed in one of the more specific subdivisions.

This criticism does not diminish the impression of a carefully researched, professionally produced bibliography, worthy to stand alongside other classical studies reference works. Decker and his co-worker demonstrate that the history of sports in antiquity is, after a decade and a half, well established as a sub-discipline of the history of sports. [mk/rc]

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