Rules of the Game


Rules of the Game: The Best Sports Writing from Harper's Magazine uncovers funny, touching, exciting, intriguing stories of the sporting life, both professional and amateur.

These essays show that how we play and write about sports reflects and celebrates our nation's character.

This collection includes some of the most well-known and respected writers of the past century, including:

Mark Twain, Tom Wolfe, Shirley Jackson, Lewis H. Lapham, Gary Cartwright, A. Bartlett Giamatti, Pete Axthelm, George Plimpton, and Rich Cohen.

Edited by Matthew Stevenson and Michael Martin.


"One helluva team of writers has produced a book you'll be dipping into for years."
—Jim Bouton, author of Ball Four

"Reading Rules of the Game is like getting a lesson in sports history from some of our finest writers while sipping an aperitif at the Algonquin Round Table. There is such a seamless bond between writer and sport, and Rules of the Game flows as smoothly as an Ali jab."
—Ron Darling, Emmy Award–winning broadcaster 

"Great sports writing is as much an American tradition as the games that are played on our fields and courts. This all-encompassing collection from some of the finest writers in the history of our nation brings to life great sporting moments both personal and transformative in scope. These writings from Harper's are a treasure to savor for all of us who love sports and the words that they inspire."
—Hannah Storm, ESPNSportsCenter anchor