Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2018 Max Kassan. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Bruce Dorsey


This thesis examines how the influx of baseball movies from 1984-1989 and the Pete Rose scandal provide insight into the ever-changing definition of masculinity in the U.S. By examining newspaper articles, presidential archives, and baseball memoirs, Kassan explores the lines between Reagan-era popular culture, and the nostalgia and greed working to make up a new concept of masculinity rooted in the roles of boys and fathers. He argues that baseball played a central role in shaping a culture of masculinity in the 1980s, through popular images and films to the president’s use of the sport for political messaging.


Co-recipient of the Paul H. Beik Prize in History, awarded in 2018.