As the title implies, A History of American Sports in 100 Objects uses 100 objects as launching pads for a brief history of sports in America. Starting “circa 1100,” Cait Murphy touches on native (pre-European) sport before exploring sports in the 1800s and a thorough examination of the dynamic sports scene of the 20th century. From pre-America to the present day, the author identifies a sports artifact, tells the story of the significance of that object, and examines how the artifact fits into the larger story of American sport.
An engaging work of narrative nonfiction, this book contains 100 short chapters which combine to create a mosaic which tells the story of sports in America. As a sports fan, I enjoyed learning the backstories of some of my favorite games, and I even found several sports teams, dynasties, and traditions that I had never learned about before reading this book. The casual sports fan may or may not find this book compelling, but sports enthusiasts and/or lovers of history may well find themselves engrossed in this walk down sports’ memory lane.