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"Wrestling was never merely a sport"

Book Cover Thrashing Seasons

C. Nathan Hatton is author of the new book, Thrashing Seasons: Sporting Culture in Manitoba and the Genesis of Prairie Wrestling, which tells the story of wrestling in Manitoba from its earliest documented origins in the eighteenth century, to the Great Depression. In this list, he shares other essential books about the history of the sport in Canada. 

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Wrestling, particularly professional wrestling, has long been the domain of popular historians. Its colourful past is by-and-large chronicled by journalists, magazine publishers, avid fans, and the wrestlers themselves. Spurred on by the commercial success of Mick Foley’s groundbreaking Have a Nice Day (1999), the twenty-first century has seen an explosion, in particular, of autobiographies and biographies. As any trip to a bookstore will attest, tremendous public interest in professional wrestling exists. Yet, relative to the United States, only a small number of works have been written specifically on Canadian wrestling.  

In general, academics have been far more tentative in embracing professional wrestling than the popular scribes. While sociologists and other scholars of contemporary culture have applied their critical gaze, few historians have joined them. Until Thrashing Seasons, none had done so in Can …

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8 Male Writers I’d Want At My Side In A Bar Room Brawl: A List by John Vigna

Suppose you find yourself standing in a Calgary bar, perhaps Ranchman’s, mouthing off about your beloved Vancouver Canucks who’ve just eliminated the Flames in the playoffs (unlikely as that might be) and you’ve been shouting to be heard—the music is loud after all. A large southern Albertan ranchman hears you. He’s wearing a big white hat that shadows his eyes. His belt buckle winks in the light and you notice it’s a shiny Calgary Flames logo. You exchange a few words, but he’s not interested in talking. Instead, all hell breaks loose. Beer bottles smash on tabletops, you and the cowboy slug each other, the unmistakable stench of man-sweat and confusion floods the room. As the deafening cheers from onlookers—now the women are in on the fighting—spur on the cowboy, you consider dropping down under a table and curling in the fetal position. At this point, it’s about having the right guys to watch your back. In no particular order, these writers and their books might just help you walk away from that bar and live to fight another day.

Book Cover The Sisters Brothers

Patrick DeWitt, The Sisters Brothers: When passing through town, try to avoid picking fights at the local watering hole, but if you can’t do that, find this guy—he knows fights, he knows bars. DeWitt, author of …

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