The past decade has seen the blossoming of sports studies, both in Latin American studies and more globally. David Sheinin's edited volume Sports Culture in Latin American History is one more bloom in the recent historiography, offering an impressively wide array of selections on regional sport and sporting practices. Chapters range in topic from traditional sports such as boxing and football to less common pastimes like gateball and cholita wrestling. The chronology moves from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Still, while apparently disparate in topic and time, all the selections focus on the creation or retention of identity through sport, and this unity of theme makes the book a surprisingly cohesive whole.

Much of the credit for this coherence belongs to Laura Podalsky, whose introduction directs readers' attention to key themes in the book. Podalsky identifies three: “the relationship...

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