1st Edition

The Four-Minute Mile
Historical and Cultural Interpretations of a Sporting Barrier

ISBN 9780415759489
Published August 11, 2015 by Routledge

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Breaking records and challenging the limits of human ability are central to much of our understanding of athletic track and field sports, with a world record title arguably as valued as an Olympic gold medal. Some particular limits and records take on greater significance, however, as in the case of the Four-Minute Mile which was roundly believed to be impossible until Roger Bannister shattered the illusion with half a second to spare in May 1954.

These essays look at the background of Bannister’s achievement and the meaning that was ascribed to it by the media and the public at large, drawing on an array of interdisciplinary and international influences to unpick the legend surrounding an historic moment in our social and sporting past.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Sporting Barrier: Historical and Cultural Interpretations of the Four-Minute Mile  John Bale & P. David Howe  2. The Idea of the Record  Jim Parry  3. Bannister’s Feat in Austere Times: The Construction and Reproduction of a Sporting Trope  Alan Tomlinson  4. How Much of a Hero? The Fractured Image of Roger Bannister  John Bale  5. Roger Bannister’s American Image  Caroline Collins  6. The Four Minute Mythology: Documenting Drama on Film and Television  Garry Whannel  7. Inhibiting Progress: The Record of the Four-Minute Mile  Jim Denison  8. Amphetamine and the Four-Minute Mile  John Hoberman  9. Training Theory and Why Roger Bannister was the First Four-Minute Miler  Arnd Kruger  10. Habitus, Barriers and the [Ab]use of the Science of Interval Training in the 1950s  P. David Howe

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John Bale, University of Aarhus.

P.David Howe, Loughborough University.