Something Like the Gods by Stephen Amidon
A Cultural History of the Athlete from Achilles to LeBron

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...Something Like the Gods does not qualify as spectacular sports history...
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

A lively, literary exploration of one of the West's most iconic cultural figures―the athlete

Why is the athlete so important to us? Few public figures can dominate the public imagination with such power and authority. Even in our cynical times, when celebrities can be debunked at the speed of light, many still look to athletes as models for our moral and emotional lives. An aging fastballer goes for a few last wins in his final season, and he becomes an exemplar for our daily struggles against time.

A top golfer cheats on his wife, and his behavior sparks a symposium on marital fidelity more wideranging than if the lapse had come from a politician or religious leader.

Drawing from art, literature, politics, and history, Something Like the Gods explores the powerful grip the athlete has always held on the Western imagination. Amidon examines the archetype of the competitor as it evolved from antiquity to the present day, from athlete-warriors such as Achilles and Ulysses to global media icons like Ali, Jordan, and Tiger Woods.

Above all, Something Like the Gods is a lyrical study that will appeal to anyone who has ever imagined themselves in the spikes, boots, or sneakers of our greatest athletes―or wondered why people do.

 

About Stephen Amidon

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Stephen Amidon is the coauthor of The Sublime Engine and the author of six novels, including The New City and Human Capital. He lives in western Massachusetts.
 
Published June 5, 2012 by Rodale. 258 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, History, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Something Like the Gods
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Nigel Spivey on Jul 29 2012

As Norman Mailer showed, it takes a writer of pugnacious bravura to tackle the specialists.

Read Full Review of Something Like the Gods: A Cu... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by Scott Agm Crawford on Jul 27 2012

...Something Like the Gods does not qualify as spectacular sports history...

Read Full Review of Something Like the Gods: A Cu... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Reader Rating for Something Like the Gods
95%

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