Reading Guides

Football and Brain Trauma – Recommended Books

Football Brain Trauma Books

As the Super Bowl draws near, the books on this reading list challenge us to take critical look at football and the brain trauma many players have experienced …

I used to be a big football fan, often spending large chunks of my Sundays enjoying NFL games. But the more I heard and read about brain injuries and trauma, the less enthused I was about the sport. Today I rarely watch a full game, and have mostly lost interest in the sport.

Here’s some excellent books that present the research on brain injuries and tell the stories of former football players: 



Concussion, Inc.: The End of Football as We Know It

Irvin Muchick

(ECW Press)

Traumatic brain injury in football is not incidental, but an inevitable and central aspect of the sport. Starting in high school, through college, and into the NFL, young players face repeated head trauma, and those sustained injuries create lifelong cognitive and functional difficulties.

Muchnick’s Concussion Inc. blog exposed the decades-long cover-up of scientific research into sports concussions and the ongoing denial to radically reform football in North America. This compilation from Muchnick’s no-holds-barred investigative website reveals the complete head injury story as it developed, from the doctor who played fast and loose with the facts about the efficacy of the state-mandated concussion management system for high school football players, to highly touted solutions that are more self-serving cottage industry than of any genuine benefit.

Known for extensive reporting on the tragic story of the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, Muchnick turns his investigative analysis to traumatic brain injury and probes deep into the corporate, government, and media corruption that has enabled the $10-billion-a-year National Football League to trigger a public health crisis.


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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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