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Krasnoff, Lindsay Sarah (2018) 'Barnstorming Frenchmen: the impact of Paris Université Club's U.S. tours and the role of the individual in sports diplomacy.' In: Rofe, J. Simon, (ed.), Sport and diplomacy: Games within games. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, pp. 130-146. (Key Studies in Diplomacy)

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Meet Martin Feinberg, the sole American basketball player on the storied Paris Université Club (PUC) roster in 1956. That December, Feinberg organized a team tour through the American Midwest, the first such journey undertaken by a French basketball club. PUC’s travels (including a 1962 visit) were not subsidized by the U.S. Government, thus not “official” exchanges. The trips were nevertheless strong examples of sport’s ability to carry social and political messages with deep consequences. Basketball was first played in Europe in 1893 in a small sports hall located at 14, rue de Trévise, in Paris, France. Basketball, however, remained a niche endeavor in a country that favored British sports, notably football and rugby. The young PUC players who traveled to the United States were thus not the “typical” representatives of their generation. Yet, many of them, even the more anti-American Socialists, came away with favorable impressions of France’s sister republic in most matters, save that of race relations. “Barnstorming Frenchmen” examines how the earliest French-American basketball exchanges created lasting impressions on young players in ways traditional diplomacy and diplomats rarely could. Set against the larger context of post-war French anxieties and reconstruction, French-American Cold War diplomacy, and race relations in both countries, these trips are noteworthy.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy
ISBN: 9781526131072
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Manchester University Press. This is the version of the chapter accepted for publication in Sport and Diplomacy: Games within Games published by Manchester University Press
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 09:31
Related URLs: ... /9781526131072/

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