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Heartbreak City: Seattle Sports and the Unmet Promise of Urban Progress (Hardcover)
While sports are often deployed as metaphor for social phenomena, Shaun Scott goes a step further, demonstrating how sports are inextricably linked to our politics, culture, and social institutions. Examining 170 years of Seattle sports, this deeply-researched book helped me better understand the long tug-of-war between progressive and reactionary forces, which continue to shape our region today. Heartbreak City is destined to join the pantheon of must-read local histories. P.S. Bring back our Sonics. [Adrienne]— From Heartbreak City: Seattle Sports and the Unmet Promise of Urban Progress
To cities, sports have never been just entertainment. Progressive urbanites across the United States have used athletics to address persistent problems in city life: the fights for racial justice, workers' rights, equality for women and LGBTQ+ city dwellers, and environmental conservation. In Seattle, sports initiatives have powered meaningful reforms, such as popular stadium projects that promoted investments in public housing and mass transit. At the same time, conservative forces also used sports to consolidate their power and mobilize against the civic good. In Heartbreak City Shaun Scott takes the reader through 170 years of Seattle history, chronicling both well-known and long-forgotten events, like the establishment of racially segregated golf courses and neighborhoods in the regressive 1920s and the 1987 Seahawks players' strike that galvanized organized labor. At every step of the journey, he uncovers how sports have both united Seattle in pursuit of triumph and revealed its most profound political divides. Deep archival research and analysis combine in this people's history of a great American city's quest to become even greater--if only it could get out of its own way.
Heartbreak City was made possible in part by a grant from 4Culture's Heritage Program.
A Michael J. Repass Book
About the Author
Shaun Scott is a Seattle-based writer and organizer. He is author of Millennials and the Moments That Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982-Present.