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Italian review of Berkshire’s World Sport, in English

Here’s the review, translated by Gherardo Bonini:

“Looking back over the years, there have been few good encyclopedias of sport. The Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport, issued this year in Massachusetts by Berkshire Publishing Group, is the enlarged and updated version of a work published in 1996. It deserves particular attention because it was conceived with a new philosophy. That is, because it is not a alphabetic list of athletes but is instead a survey of topics including: the origins, evolution, and contemporary status of the sporting phenomenon in all countries; economic, social and political views; and sports in individual lives. It is possible to expand topics that have often been neglected through this the contemporary multifaceted approach.

“The main authors of the work (four volumes, 1,816 pages) are David Levinson and Karen Christensen, for whom the relationship between sports and culture is very consistent. They were helped by a team of experts from many countries: the article on Italy was masterfully written by Gherardo Bonini, the enthusiastic sport historian who works at the Historical Archives of the European Union of Florence.

“Here is a short list of topics covered: men and women in the sport; big international events; famous sporting facilities; teams and societies; the sports industry; early and modern sports media; training systems; the evolution and questions of sports medicine; and the relationship between sports and health. Among the sacred venues, for instance, are the Coliseum and Foro Italico, Ascot and Holmenkollen, Madison Square Garden and the Maracanà. Among the events, beside the Olympic Games, we find Wimbledon and Indianapolis. The historical honours of each of the countries are duly covered.

“The text, in English, is enriched by sidebars. The work costs $475 and can be ordered from Berkshire Publishing Group, 314 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230, USA,”

One of our contributors from the Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, Gerry Sperling, is a also a filmmaker and here in Rome for the Congress. This, like the Italian review, is astonishing serendipity, especially since Gerry’s academic expertise extends to a topic I happen to need an article just now. Now, if only the weather will be similarly cooperative as I set out to see a little of Rome before flying home early tomorrow.

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