Muscling in on New Worlds

Jews, Sport, and the Making of the Americas


Editors: and
Muscling in on New Worlds brings together a dynamic new collection of studies that approach sport as a window into Jewish identity formation in the Americas. Articles address football/soccer, yoga, boxing, and other sports as crucial points of Jewish interaction with other communities and as vehicles for reconciling the legacy of immigration and Jewish distinctiveness in new world national and regional contexts.

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Raanan Rein, Ph.D. (1991), Tel Aviv University, is the Sourasky Professor of Latin American and Iberian Studies at that University. He has published numerous books and articles on modern Argentina history, as well as on Jewish experiences in Latin America. His most recent book is Fútbol, Jews, and the Making of Argentina (Stanford University Press, 2014).

David M. K. Sheinin is Professor of History at Trent University (Canada) and a member of the Academia Nacional de la Historia de la República Argentina. 

He is the winner of the 2013 Arthur P. Whitaker Prize for Consent of the Damned: Ordinary Argentinians in the Dirty War (University Press of Florida, 2012).
"The editors’ willingness to go outside the traditional parameters of who and what we would expect to be included in a discussion of sports enhances the volume and is evidenced early on in the introduction by the statement that “Perhaps the greatest Jewish athlete in the Americas was Harry Houdini” (8). Abrams’s essay significantly expands the book’s theoretical scope by bringing in post-colonial theory and the history of imperialism to the exploration of the development of Jewish identity and thereby greatly advances the intention announced by the book’s subtitle to relate Jews and sport to the making of the Americas, rather than simply focusing on Jews and sport in the Americas." -Harry Brod, American Jewish History, Vol. 100, No. 1 (2016).

"Given its originality, cross-culture perspective, challenging analysis, and proposals for new directions in future research, Muscling in on New Worlds comes highly recommended to sport scholars. The anthology does not pursue closure; rather it employs original paradigms, topics, and sources to advance the discussion of Jews and sport." -William M. Simons, State University of New York at Oneonta, Journal of Sport History, Volume 43.1 (Spring 2016).

"[B]y placing chapters on Jews and popular music in the USA alongside chapters on their South American analogues, the context of these studies becomes subtly altered. This isn’t just because the Argentinian and Brazilian artists discussed are often much less well known globally than American ones, but also because a ‘hemispheric’ focus enables – potentially at least – a destabilisation of the sometimes inward-looking perspective that dominates discussions of Jews, popular music and the USA....Or, to put it another way, by considering North and South American Jewish popular music together, we might be able to re-position Jewish music in the Diaspora communities of the Americas into a more fluid notion of Diaspora." -Keith Kahn-Harris, Birkbeck College and Leo Baeck College, Popular Music, Vol. 36, Issue 1, pp. 131-133.
133,Introduction: Making an Adjustment David M.K. Sheinin and Raanan Rein
Chapter One: What Ray Arcell Saw in the Shower: Víctor Galíndez, Mike Rossman, and the Two Fights that Put an End to Jewish Boxing David M.K. Sheinin
Chapter Two: “My Bobeh was Praying and Suffering for Atlanta”: Family, Food and Language among the Jewish-Argentine Fans of the Club Atlético Atlanta Raanan Rein
Chapter Three: Adaptations of Yoga: Jewish Interpretations Eleanor F. Odenheimer, Rebecca Buchanan and Tanya Prewitt
Chapter Four: The Clothes They Wear and the Time They Keep: The Orthodox Athletes’ Tests of Tolerance in Contemporary America
Jeffrey S. Gurock

Chapter Five: Jews, Sport, and the Construction of an American Identity Gerald R. Gems
Chapter Six: The Macho-Mensch: Modeling American Jewish Masculinity and the Heroes of Baseball Rebecca T. Alpert
Chapter Seven: Muscles, Mimicry, Menschlikyat, and Madagascar: Jews, Sport, and Nature in US Cinema Nathan Abrams
Chapter Eight: Jewishness and Sports: The Case for Latin American Fiction Alejandro Meter
Concluding Essay: Redefining Jewish Athleticism: New Approaches and Research Directions Ari Sclar
Readership includes students, academics, libraries, and others interested in sport, sport history, Jewish studies, Jewish history, Latin American studies, Latin American history.
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