America's Rubber Soul

SWOOSH: THE STORY OF NIKE AND THE MEN WHO PLAYED THERE

by J.B. Strasser and Laurie Becklund; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; $24.95

Sneakers -- or what some people still call tennis shoes and most everyone now refers to as athletic shoes -- are an American icon. The sneaker is not so much an object as an idea, a symbol of values that America has always taken pride in: social and physical mobility, practicality, informality, even rebellion (such as when Woody Allen wore a pair of Converse high-tops to escort First Lady Betty Ford to the ballet in 1975). It has only been...

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