Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

Winter 2004

Publication Title

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture






1-2 pp.


Aaron Baker's Contesting Identities: Sports in American Film is an indictment of the key American myth that anyone can succeed through self-reliance. Baker finds that sports films, in general, comprise a site in which the myth is represented and reproduced. Baker's focus, though presented from multiple analytical perspectives, is singular in its purpose. That said, Baker does concentrate on what he considers the four core American sports: football, baseball, basketball and boxing. Approximately ninety movies, from the silent era to the present day, provide the content of the analysis, but several are exemplary and are cited repeatedly in the book's introduction, four chapters and conclusion. Each chapter comprises one category of analysis: history and identity, Hollywood and the black athlete, gender and class (in boxing).


© Marc Ouellette. Posted with permission of the author.

Original Publication Citation

Ouellette, M. (2004). [Review of the book Contesting identities: Sports in American Film, by A. Baker]. Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture 4(1), 1-2.