The Kingdom of Golf in America by Richard J. Moss

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A valuable survey of U.S. golf history, but a bit too dry and academic for casual readers.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

For golf’s true enthusiasts, the game is far more—and far more complex—than a simple hobby, commodity, or slice of the sports industry. It is a physical and mental place to be, a community. It has a history, a hierarchy, laws, a language, and a literature. And in Richard J. Moss, it has a chronicler.

From its beginnings in the northeastern United States in the 1880s, golf has seen its popularity, and its fortunes, wax and wane, affected by politics and economics, reflecting tensions between aristocratic and democratic impulses. The Kingdom of Golf in America traces these ups and downs, ins and outs, in the growth of golf as a community. Moss describes the development of the private club and public course and the impact of wealth and the consumer culture on those who play golf and those who watch. He shows that factors like race, gender, technology, suburbanization, and the transformation of the South that shaped the nation also shaped golf. The result is a unique, and uniquely entertaining, work of cultural history that shows us golf as a community whose story resonates far beyond the confines of the course.

 

About Richard J. Moss

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Richard J. Moss is John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History (emeritus) at Colby College and the author of Golf and the American Country Club and Eden in the Pines: A History of Pinehurst Village.
 
Published June 1, 2013 by University of Nebraska Press. 400 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Kingdom of Golf in America
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Henry Allen on Aug 16 2013

Whether or not Mr. Moss knows of the savanna thesis, he knows that there is "something irrationally intoxicating about being on a golf course and hitting a golf ball." His own love for the game is infectious.

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Kirkus

Above average
on May 13 2013

A valuable survey of U.S. golf history, but a bit too dry and academic for casual readers.

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