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Moravian College
Joel Nathan Rosen

Fame to Infamy: Race, Sport, and the Fall from GraceFame to Infamy: Race, Sport, and the Fall from Grace


The University Press of Mississippi has published the second volume in an anthology series co-edited by Joel Nathan Rosen, associate professor of sociology at Moravian, and David C. Ogden, associate professor of communication at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The book is available at

Fame to Infamy: Race, Sport, and the Fall from Grace follows the paths of sports figures who once were embraced by the general populace but who, through a variety of circumstances, real or imagined, found themselves falling out of favor with the public. The essay authors focus on the roles played by athletes, the media, and fans in describing how once-esteemed popular figures find themselves scorned by the same public that at one time viewed them as heroic.

About two years in the making, Fame to Infamy views its subjects through many lenses, reflecting contributors' diverse academic backgrounds. All but one of the contributions are new, having been written expressly for this title, noted Dr. Rosen. Rosen co-authored the chapter "Inextricably Linked: Joe Louis and Max Schmeling Revisited" with C. Oren Renick, professor and chair, Department of Health Administration, Texas Southern University. Other essays feature Barry Bonds, Kirby Puckett, Mike Tyson, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Branch Rickey, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jim Brown.

"You know a lot more about the process by the time you're working on the second volume," said Rosen. "You learn to juggle deadlines and editing with classroom responsibilities and family life. It gets easier each time." Professor Rosen already is busy on the series' third volume, which will focus on female athletes, with an expected publication date of Fall 2012. The first volume in the series, Reconstructing Fame: Sport, Race, and Evolving Reputations (2008), will be available in paperback next spring.

Read sample chapters of Fame to Infamy at Google Books. For more information about the series, as well as other books and works by Dr. Rosen, visit his website: Rosen is also director of the LVAIC Africana Consortium and founding co-director of the Center for the Study of Media in Culture.