September 9, 2013 (REVISED September 12, 2013) American Football Subject of New Library Publication

Library to Preview “Football Nation” at Sept. 16 Book Talk

Contact: Audrey Fischer, Library of Congress (202) 707-0022 | Claire Bamundo, Abrams Books (212) 206-7715

As far back as 1609, colonists in Jamestown, Va., were discussing football as played by the Powhatan Indians. More than 400 years later, Americans are still engrossed with a sport that is ingrained in the national culture.

“Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America’s Game” by Susan Reyburn is an unprecedented look at football from its early days in colonial America to the professional and college game in the 21st century. Published by the Library of Congress in association with Abrams Books, this visually appealing social and cultural history contains nearly 400 images—many rare or never before published—including memorabilia, cartoons, fine art and game photographs. The lively text examines how the game acquired its distinct American style, survived attempts to end it, and became the country’s dominant sport—thriving despite wartime, social change, intensifying fan participation and corporate influence.

Illustrated features explore the history of the fight song, tailgating, and cheerleading; how Hollywood has portrayed the game and its players; the role of women in football; and the impact of game-changing personalities from pioneer Walter Camp to legendary coach Vince Lombardi and contemporary player agents. From Abigail Adams to Al Capone, Nathan Hale to Peyton Manning, this book reveals how America became a football nation.

Reyburn is a writer-editor at the Library of Congress and the author of “Women Who Dare—Amelia Earhart” (2006). She is a co-author of “Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress” (2009), “The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference” (2002) and “The Library of Congress World War II Companion” (2007). She has also written extensively for the National Trust for Historic Preservation on historic sites and gardens.

“Football Nation,” which is scheduled for publication on Oct. 8, will be the subject of a Books & Beyond discussion and book-signing by Reyburn and image researcher Athena Angelos at noon on Monday, Sept. 16 in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E, Washington, D.C. The event, which is sponsored jointly by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Library’s Publishing Office, is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

“Football Nation,” a 256-page hardcover book, will be sold for $30 at bookstores nationwide and through the Library of Congress Shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., 20540-4985. Credit-card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or Pre-publication orders will be accepted. Advance copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the Sept. 16 event.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, publications, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at


PR 13-145
ISSN 0731-3527