Rob Ruck

Rob Ruck is a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. His documentaries include The Republic of Baseball: Dominican Giants of the American Game. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Salon, and other publications and is the author of Tropic of Football: The Remarkable and Bittersweet Rise of Samoans in the NFL (The New Press). He lives in Pittsburgh.

Author topics:

News and Reviews


Everything that’s rousing and distressing about block–and–tackle football is encompassed in Tropic of Football Rob Ruck’s illuminating chronicle of the Samoan presence in the American mainland’s most dominant sport.


Best Summer Books of 2018

The Wall Street Journal

Rob Ruck comments on the Samoan way of football. No other segment of U.S. society produces as many players per capita, and the risks of long–term damage from the sport have yet to change that.

Publishers Weekly

Ruck’s clear–eyed observations of the Samoan contribution to the NFL make for a welcome addition to the football library.


Books by Rob Ruck

Tropic of Football
The Long and Perilous Journey of Samoans to the NFL

Rob Ruck