Gary Alan Fine is professor of sociology at Northwestern University and the author of numerous books.
A rich account of community norms, values, boundaries, status systems, and organization. --Les Gofton, teaching fellow in sociology, Durham University American Journal of Sociology Fine demonstrates above all that chess is not an individualized activity, but rather a communal one. The logic of chess is not impersonal, but embodied and social. It is not merely a game, but an important part of the way that many people make their lives together. It is a significant and masterful achievement. --Mark Jacobs, George Mason University Whether you are a casual player or a grandmaster you will find something of interest in this book, which takes a bemused look at the extensive activity that goes into making chess communities. Even if you have never played chess, you will still learn a lot about social life from this book, the best yet by this prolific author. --James M. Jasper, author of The Art of Moral Protest A traditional ethnography, Players and Pawns combines rigor with a wry lightness of touch. Even those for whom chess has always seemed a bizarre mixture of obsession, paranoia, and sublime mastery, will see it revealed as a wondrously diverse landscape of contrasting temperaments, climates, and folkways. --Les Gofton, teaching fellow in sociology, Durham University Times Higher Education Players and Pawns would make an excellent addition to a game studies course at either the undergraduate or graduate level. . . .That said, the concepts Fine develops are useful to folklorists working with other subcultural groups, and the book should be of interest far beyond game studies. --Les Gofton, teaching fellow in sociology, Durham University Journal of American Folklore