Books by Ann E. Weiss

MONEY GAMES by Ann E. Weiss
Released: April 1, 1993

After a major boom in investment and public interest, professional and college sports appear to be faltering under intense criticism. In his insightful account, Weiss—drawing a useful distinction between games (played for the sake of the players) and sports (performed for audiences)—punctures numerous long-standing myths about the origins of sports (Abner Doubleday didn't invent baseball, he standardized the rules) and shows how financial considerations have always motivated public sporting events. Dividing participants into capitalists and laborers, the author explains the steep inflation in player salaries and tells why club franchises are shuffled from city to city; she also explores university sports' close ties with the professional system and takes up drug abuse, gambling, and fan disillusionment. Especially interesting are discussions of whether amateurism helps or hinders sports, and the offering of some possible futures for American sports. Among the more disturbing revelations is the reason why Astroturf is used when grass is known to be safer, and why rest periods have been shortened: money. A well-balanced book that will alert readers to the realities behind the hype and encourage them to learn the facts before counting on future glory as sports stars. Extensive source list. Index not seen. (Nonfiction. 12+) Read full book review >
LOTTERIES by Ann E. Weiss
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

A look at a phenomenon that—thanks to government support, misleading advertising, and eager public cooperation—has become this country's number-one growth industry. Local raffles, generally to raise money for specific purposes, have been held since ancient times, weathering (as Weiss shows) almost continual corruption and controversy. Today, legalized gambling—run by churches, Native American tribes, municipalities, states, and soon, perhaps, the federal government—is widely seen as a source of easy money for education and social programs: essentially, a disguised tax that people will line up to pay. Weiss sounds a strong cautionary note, suggesting that the benefits of all these billions don't outweigh their cost. Recognizing that lotteries are here to stay, she proposes a few sensible reforms: limiting top prizes; toning down the advertising; and using warning labels to show that participants need more to come out winners than ``a dollar and a dream.'' Source notes; short bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 12-16) Read full book review >