Cooperstown To Dyersville: A Geography Of Baseball Nostalgia

1st Edition

Charles Fruehling Springwood

Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 232 Pages
ISBN 9780367010201 - CAT# K403436

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By what magic is a simple geographical space such as a city or town transformed into cultural significance, into a "place" people travel to, enshrine, mythologize, and consume? What stardust falls upon the ground and in the public's mind that moves us to worship a piece of property that was once an unremarkable field or vacant lot? This book, written with the passion of both baseball fan and cultural anthropologist, unravels the mysteries of Cooperstown, New York–home of the Baseball Hall of Fame–and Dyersville, Iowa–site of the baseball field made enormous by the Hollywood movie Field of Dreams. Charles Springwood provides insight into the postmodern culture of the United States in which tourist sites and "American heritages" are culturally produced and consumed, by studying the people who visit them. The results of his interviews with visitors to these sites speak to issues of youth, innocence, family, domesticity, nation, and the hegemonic practices of the "leisure class." The book provides a reading of America steeped in narratives of pastoralism and nostalgia. Behind it all (the curtain behind which the great wizard sits) is the corporate mind creating an atmosphere of false histories and reconstructed pasts. Springwood pulls the reader's heart in two directions, seeking to honor the beautiful myth of baseball's pastoralism through two sacred geographical sites while also seeking to expose the underpinnings of myth-making to a gentle but constant light.

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