I'm just starting the book Now is the Winter, and to say the least it is very promising if not already spectacular. It is an academic's view of hockey, somewhat of a rarity in the sport. Editors Jamie Dopp and Richard Harrison explain in the book's introduction:
"There was (and still is) a massive body of hockey writing in Canada; however, most of it was hockey journalism chronicling the exploits of colorful players, teams or eras, and rarely, if ever, studied in the academy. Hockey-related biographies kept fans happy, but weren't curriculum material - the lone exception lying, perhaps, in Ken Dryden's groundbreaking and meditative 1983 memoir, The Game. And though there were also many hockey histories, events in hockey rarely figured in textbooks on Canadian history as a whole, with the exceptions of the Richard Riot in 1955 because of its connection with the Quiet Revolution, and the 1972 Summit Series because of its links to the Cold War. Both of these were cases in which the ever present mix of hockey and politics exploded into public view. But up until the 1990s literary - or cultural studies - based considerations of the meaning of hockey and its writing were few and far between despite the prominence of the game in Canadian life."The editors of Now is the Winter invite some of Canada's top writers to submit essays on hockey, especially focusing on it's role in Canadian life, culture, politics, history and the arts.
And the best part about this book - unlike some academic books on hockey I've seen (the kind where I swear the academic writers use a thesaurus to make every word even more academic), this book is written so that both academics and average fans - the majority of us - can really enjoy it.
I encourage you to check out Now is the Winter and I'll have a full review when I'm done!