Randy W. Roberts

Randy W. Roberts

Randy Roberts' major interest is the intersection of popular culture and political culture. He has studied personalities from sports, film, and television who have transcended their particular fields and left a footprint on the political landscape. Roberts is Distinguished Professor of History at Purdue University; he was named 2006 U.S. Professor of the Year for the state of Indiana by Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He is the author of A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game that Rallied a Nation (2011), Joe Louis: Hard Times Man (2010), Jack Dempsey: The Manassa Mauler (expanded edition, 1984), and Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes (1983), and a coauthor of John Wayne American (1995), Heavy Justice: The Trial of Mike Tyson (1994), Where the Domino Fell: America and Vietnam, 1945-1990 (1990), and Winning is the Only Thing: Sports in America since 1945 (1989), among other books. He is also, most recently, the editor of The Rock, the Curse, and the Hub: A Random History of Boston Sports (2005); a coeditor of Before the Curse: The Chicago Cubs' Glory Years, 1870–1945 (2012) and Hollywood's America: United States History through Its Films (2010), and a coauthor of Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X (2016).

Lectures

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X
  • Civil Rights in the Ring: Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, and the Struggle over the Color Line
  • John Wayne's America: Why He Still Rides Tall
  • Leadership in Sports: What Made Red Blaik and Bear Bryant Successful Leaders, and How Can I Get Some of That?
  • Leadership in War: Lessons from D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge
  • Popular Culture Goes To War: John Wayne, Joe Louis, Superman, and American Culture during World War II
  • The Clinton Show: Notes on the Postmodern Celebrity
  • The Roone Revolution: Roone Arledge and the Making of Televised Sports
  • Why Joe Louis Matters: Race, Masculinity, and Culture
  • Winning When Winning Mattered Most: Red Blaik, College Football, and World War II