Paula Morton provides a fun, concise introduction to jai alai, a fast-paced ball game with ancient roots that is admired by fans for the sport's power and spectacle. Cesta punta, as the game is known in its Basque homeland, became a phenomenon during the twentieth century as organized jai alai spread from Spain into the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States, and Asia. This book outlines the multifaceted history of the sport, from its beginnings in Basque country to its North American "unveiling" at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Centennial Exposition and World's Fair and to its rise and fall in popularity in the United States. Guest essays and historic photographs offer extensive insight into the sport's fascinating history. Morton further explores the players and venues, providing a carefully crafted and thoroughly researched look into jai alai. Sports lovers and cultural history enthusiasts will marvel at the sport's unique history and reach.
"As Paula Morton makes abundantly clear in her tidy, readable study of 'hi-lie,' the game has much to offer. . . . The vibrancy of the subject and the author's obvious passion for it make the book well worth reading."--Ryan Swanson, New Mexico Historical Review
"An impressive combination of sports history and cultural study, Jai Alai: A Cultural History of the Fastest Game in the World is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to both community and academic library collections."--Midwest Book Review
Chapter One. "It Is a Grand Sport"
Chapter Two. In the Beginning
Chapter Three. The "Fastest Game in the World"
Chapter Four. Jai Alai in Cuba
Chapter Five. The Question of Gambling
Chapter Six. The Rise of Jai Alai
Chapter Seven. Troubled Jai Alai