Sport is an enduring element of British life and culture. In all its variety, it touches on so many significant aspects of past and present: national identity, class, gender, the relationship between country and town, the rise of commerce, the evolution of ethical debate. Our sporting arenas have witnessed triumphs and heartbreaks that have become part of the national narrative. For a country so obsessed with the invention, playing and watching of sport, the story of how it has come to reflect us remains untold. David Horspool tracks each game as a driver of social change: horse-racing’s obsession with blood and money turned an aristocratic pastime into a national sport; boxing promoted opportunity for ethnic minorities, while simultaneously enforcing a regime of discrimination; golf rehearsed a perennial battle over Britain’s landscape; and more.