cover of book

Close of Play: President, Prince, and Cricket
by William Walcott
Black Rose Books, 2019
eISBN: 978-1-55164-718-0 | Cloth: 978-1-55164-714-2 | Paper: 978-1-55164-716-6
Library of Congress Classification E891.5.O332W35 2020

In this allegorical excursion, William Walcott explores the intersections between United States politics and the game of cricket in a book reminiscent of C. L. R. James’s classic Beyond a Boundary. In Close of Play, Walcott highlights the careers of former US president Barack Obama and the Trinidadian cricket and cultural phenom Brian Lara—one of the greatest batsmen of all time, who Obama once called “the Michael Jordan of cricket.” Readers are invited to explore the parallel poetics of politics and sport through the life and words of these luminaries, both of whom promised to deliver far-reaching social change yet found themselves “on the back foot.”
In his analysis, Walcott delves into matters of Caribbean and American identity, political leadership, oratory, and the blending of cricket vocabulary into political commentary. He also challenges us to understand the sociological links between international sport, socio-economic inequality, and racial politics. This book is a fascinating journey into the world of global sociopolitical life and the curiosities of language embedded in cricket and political play, both of which constitute enormous sectors within a multibillion dollar “sticky wicket” of transnational capitalism.

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