Baseball and American Culture

Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.     Jacques Barzun

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.  Not all holes or games are created equal.    George Will

This study examines the ways in which the game of baseball has influenced and reflected American culture from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present.  Through the study of texts, audiovisual materials, and class discussions, students learn about aspects of the game related to work, leisure, class, race, gender, family, citizenship, ethics, war, and the notion of heroism.  Students will also develop their research and writing skills as they discover how the national pastime has enriched the English language and has inspired serious literature in multiple genres, as well as film, theater, music, the visual arts, humor, and entertainment in general.