The gradual transformation of the aristocratic sporting tradition of Britain into a popular one in America is the theme of this work. John Dizikes defines the distinction between gamesmen and sportsmen as the regard in which each held the rules. He begins by reviewing the sporting life and career of the personification of American democracy, Andrew Jackson. For Jackson, the total sportsman, the code of conduct was a vital part of any game. The next generation of Americans had less respect for these codes of honour inherited from Britain. For them, codes of honourable behaviour became irrelevant, almost un-American. Among the many sporting figures whose lives Dizikes covers, the readers encounter many of the self-contradicting attitudes of 19th-century Americans in the process of creating a uniquely American sporting culture.