Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Steven Allen Riess  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1947 in New York, New York

-- Website --
-- Steven Allen Riess on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Steven received his Ph. D. , at the University of Chicago and is a retired history professor, formerly the Bernard Brommel Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of History at Northeastern Illinois University. He currently lives in suburban Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

In 1976, Steven Allen Riess joined the faculty at Northeastern. In addition to teaching the first half of the U.S. survey, he also teaches the History of American Sport, History of Chicago, American Ethnic History, and History of Crime and Violence. Along with the books that he has written, he has also edited, [ ''Sports in America from Colonial Times to the Twenty-First Century: An Encyclopedia''], [ ''Companion to American Sport History ''], [ ''The Chicago Sports Reader: 100 Years of Sports in the Windy City'']and [ ''Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball Clubs''.]

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

American Sporting Experience: A Historical Anthology of Sport in America (American Sporting Experience Paper)
ISBN: 0880112107

Human Kinetics. 1984

City Games: The Evolution of American Urban Society and the Rise of Sports (Sport and Society)
ISBN: 0252062167

University of Illinois Press. 1991

Will be shipped from US. Used books may not include companion materials, may have some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include CDs or access codes. 100% money back guarantee.

Sport in Industrial America: 1850 - 1920
ISBN: 0882959166

Wiley-Blackwell. 1995

Riess examines the evolution of sport from its rural and urban origins as a less-than-respectable entertainment for the lower classes, through its antebellum upsurge when, with the development of a new sport ideology, it attained respectability-penetrating and finally remaking popular culture.

Using a topical approach, Riess looks at sport from several vantage points, analyzing the interaction between sport and the rise of modern cities the impact of sport on immigration, race, class, and gender how sport became accessible through technological innovations how it became integral to various educational and social movements the coming of the professional sports figure sport's links to politics and organized crime and the role of women in sport. Highlighted with colorful anecdotes, the narrative unfurls a pageant of celebrities and unknowns, players, spectators, and entrepreneurs-all engaged in the drama that is American sport.

Touching Base: Professional Baseball and American Culture in the Progressive Era (Sport and Society)
ISBN: 0252067754

University of Illinois Press. 1999

Discusses the ideology of baseball, professional baseball and urban politics, politics, ballparks, and the neighborhoods, social reform, and baseball as a source of social mobility

The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime: Horse Racing, Politics, and Organized Crime in New York 1865­–1913 (Sports and Entertainment)
ISBN: 081560985X

Syracuse University Press. 2011

Thoroughbred racing was one of the first major sports in early America. Horse racing thrived because it was a high-status sport that attracted the interest of both old and new money. It grew because spectators enjoyed the pageantry, the exciting races, and, most of all, the gambling. As the sport became a national industry, the New York metropolitan area, along with the resort towns of Saratoga Springs (New York) and Long Branch (New Jersey), remained at the center of horse racing with the most outstanding race courses, the largest purses, and the finest thoroughbreds.

Riess narrates the history of horse racing, detailing how and why New York became the national capital of the sport from the mid-1860s until the early twentieth century. The sport’s survival depended upon the racetrack being the nexus between politicians and organized crime. The powerful alliance between urban machine politics and track owners enabled racing in New York to flourish. Gambling, the heart of racing’s appeal, made the sport morally suspect. Yet democratic politicians protected the sport, helping to establish the State Racing Commission, the first state agency to regulate sport in the United States. At the same time, racetracks became a key connection between the underworld and Tammany Hall, enabling illegal poolrooms and off-course bookies to operate. Organized crime worked in close cooperation with machine politicians and local police officers to protect these illegal operations. In The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime, Riess fills a long-neglected gap in sports history, offering a richly detailed and fascinating chronicle of thoroughbred racing’s heyday.

Speaking Engagements

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