American Monarchist

Good profile (from a few years back) of the historian Lee Congdon in the James Madison University Magazine. Congdon meanwhile profiles George Kennan in the forthcoming issue of The American Conservative — he has a book on Kennan on the way, too.

Here’s Congdon’s unabashedly intelletualist defense of baseball:

“Baseball is a far more interesting game than, say, football and basketball, which are merely mass spectacles — games for the unthinking masses who simply look for circuses,” he says. “So many things happen on the diamond, and it takes time to learn to look for them. Moreover, baseball is the most historical of games. Part of the pleasure it gives derives from knowing its history,” he adds.

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5 thoughts on “American Monarchist

  1. Gerald October 27, 2006 / 1:19 pm

    Congdon also has a review of the John Lukacs reader in 44:2 of the University Bookman

  2. Jesse Walker October 30, 2006 / 1:40 am

    In other words, Congdon knows what extra details to look for in a baseball game, doesn’t know what extra details to look for in a football or basketball game, and projects these personal characteristics onto everyone else.

  3. Daniel McCarthy October 30, 2006 / 4:07 am

    I just like rooting for sports rather than sports teams. It’s meta.

  4. James Kabala October 31, 2006 / 3:58 am

    Baseball is my favorite too, but I agree with Mr. Walker that all team sports have their hidden nuances. I believe football players are generally regarded as the smartest (not necessarily the highest-IQed, but the ones who need the most on-field intelligence). And of course, through historical accident, football and basketball have strong college associations that baseball does not. (These “student-athletes” are usually phonies, of course, but it has had an impact on the sports’ cultures, especially in the early twentieth century when there was no pro football and the best college football teams were in the Ivy League. There was an interesting essay by James Bowman about this once.)
    The part about baseball’s having the best history is certainly correct, however. Except for an occasional acknowledgment of the 1958 Colts-Giants game and the 1960 Gifford-Bednarik incident, the NFL treats itself as having basically not existed before 1967.

  5. James Kabala November 1, 2006 / 12:35 am

    I just realized an anachronism in the above: There was no Ivy League before 1956. I should have said, “the colleges that would one day join the Ivy League.”

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