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Football Against the Enemy Paperback – November 6, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
He shows well how culture and society mingle with sport, in this case, soccer. He was spot on repeatedly, such as:
--Holland Vs. Germany rivalry. I've asked Dutchmen about whether those comments regarding the war are true and they said yes.
--Brazil vs. Argentina: he said an American journalist never saw home court advantage such as the rabid fans in the Nunez venue in the Brazil match. True again. When these two play in either country home court advantage blows away anything US sports fans are used to.
And on he goes. If you are a diehard soccer fan as I am, you will love this book!
Kuper uses soccer as a lens to look at the most central issues of the modern world race (South Africa), religion (Ireland and Scotland), culture (Brazil), totalitarianism (Argentina & East Germany), corruption (Ukraine), poverty (Africa), and especially nationalism (Holland, Slovakia, Catalonia, Serbia).E ven those who dismiss sport as an "opiate of the massess" and don't care for soccer will be forced to acknowledge the sport's popularity and centrality, especially in less-developed nations. Each chapter is a stand-alone piece, with lengths varrying from 5-25 pages or so, perfect for reading on the bus or just before bed. The only other cavaet on the book is that it does often seem rather dated, and one keeps wishing it was a bit fresher. Still, this is a great bit of journalism and one every soccer fan should read.
Some drawbacks were already apparent in the first chapter where you could clearly read into a bit of bias, but it only hurts it minimally. Overall, a great read into the world of 90's soccer with the history to back it up. Definitely reads differently than if it was written today as the politics of football have faded to make way for the business of football, but only 20 or so years ago it was quite different, great to appreciate the difference.
Kuper's book is simply outstanding. In it, we find out why the Dutch hate the Germans, the secret behind the success of Dynamo Kyev, and why anyone trying to map a post-war history of English culture must explain Gazza's tears. No serious football aficionado should be without this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful writing. The anecdotes really help drive home why football is the world's most popular pastime and how it as culture influences those who follow it.Published on November 20, 2013 by DManola128
The wearing of the Orange takes. N a whole new meaning when considering soccer as a agent against an enemy.Published on February 10, 2013 by Margaret Ann Simmons
recomended by a friend, great read, very interesting and informative on the inner workings of soccer in parts of the world....Published on August 31, 2012 by casey
The first football book of its kind. Ground breaking. The foundation stone for all of the other great football books to come. Read morePublished on July 21, 2006 by John V
Young journalist Kuper traveled around the world like a madman to gather the stories of soccer's relationship to politics and culture collected in the book's twenty chapters. Read morePublished on October 15, 2002 by A. Ross
Football against the Enemy is a very entertaining book, but you have to wonder about how much of it is true. Read morePublished on January 20, 2001 by Will Vanderven
The only frustrating thing about Kuper's book is that I didn't get to experience first-hand all of the football in all of the countries he writes about! Read morePublished on November 5, 1998