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Playing to Win by Michael Lewis

Playing to Win

by Michael Lewis

Title Details

Audio Original
Running Time
2 Hrs. 13 Min.


When New York Times best-selling author and journalist Michael Lewis got involved in his kids' local softball league, it all seemed so wholesome and simple. Ten years later, his family looked back to find that they had spent thousands of dollars - not to mention hours - and traveled thousands of miles in the service of a single sport.

All over America, families are investing blood, sweat, tears, and retirement savings in their children's sports careers, all with the ultimate goal of...what exactly? A college scholarship? A professional contract? Simply the taste of victory?

Through the lens of the highly competitive world of girls' softball, Lewis reveals the youth sports industrial complex that has arisen to aggressively monetize after-school pastimes. The major players aren't the ones on the field - they're the ones stripping the pockets of unwitting parents to the tune of billions of dollars a year, creating an arms race of amateur athletics and enabling the Varsity Blues scandal. So what's in it for the parents - or, for that matter, the kids themselves? This from-the-bleachers portrait of our national obsession with youth sports explores the consequences of high-stakes play for families, communities, and the kids in the game.

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