SPORTS, POLITICS AND IDEOLOGY IN CHINA by Jonathan Kolatch

SPORTS, POLITICS AND IDEOLOGY IN CHINA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Kolatch (Chinese studies) laboriously categorizes the development of Sino-sports (or ""t'i yu,"" an all-inclusive term covering physical culture, physical education, and individual and team games), beginning with the pre-Kuomintang period (1895-1928) in which the west principally through the YMCA ""had a long range effect on the Chinese attitude towards play""; next the Nationalist regime wherein Chiang abortively attempted to establish a central policy with the 1929 National Physical Education Law (text reproduced here); and then the Communist period which has emphasized sports as an effective method for inculcating correct attitudes toward national defense and productive labor -- a philosophy first enunciated in Mao's 1917 article ""A Study of Physical Culture"" which cheers such outdoorsy activities as mountaineering, military camping, and ""swimming for the sake of revolution."" A final section summarizes the Mainland's off-again, on-again participation in the Olympic Games and its support for the anti-Olympic group, Games of the New Emerging Forces. Diplomatic weightlifters like Dr. Kissinger might find perusal of such a hefty dissertation on the causal interrelatedness of sports and politics in modern China a useful calisthenic in preparation for The Trip, but those of us who have grown accustomed to the President's homey sporting analogies will pick up this recondite dumbbell only at the risk of an intellectual hernia.

Pub Date: March 5th, 1972
Publisher: Jonathan David