Summary of New Books

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A Summary of Christine Smallwood’s
“New Books” Christine Smallwood, author of “New Books” published in Harper’s Magazine in 2014 begins the article by giving the reader the complete details of a wrestling and boxing match with a man named Arrichion. Arrichion started his career in boxing and wrestling in the time of 564 B.C... He won only two titles in his career, one in 572 B.C. and the other in 568 B.C. Arrichion’s last match occurred when he was in a chokehold and refused to tap out, eventually breaking out of it and dislocating his opponents’ ankle. Unfortunately after winning the match, Arrichion, injured himself by “breaking his own neck” (73) causing his own death. According to Smallwood’s article, the Greek motto, “Victory or Death” (73) takes on a new connotation; “Victory in Death” (73) thus implying 2500 years later, professional football players today are more likely to suffer from some type of brain trauma due to their desire to win championships like that of Arrichion. Who knew that the life expectancy of a professional football player was only the age of fifty-five? Several professional football players have committed suicide due to repeated concussions while playing their sport. According to the article by Smallwood, the issue has become so pervasive, Dave Duerson, a former safety in the NFL, “shot himself in the heart in 2011, he left a note asking that his brain be sent to Boston University” (73). Smallwood points out that according to neurological evidence, football can cause humans to display violent behavior due to all of the hits that are taken and the aggressiveness they are taught or told to use on the field. According to the article, football was first created in the 1820s as a type of “hazing ritual at the better East Coast colleges where it caused so many broken bones that Yale and Harvard banned the game in 1960” (75).…...

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