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Kuper, a reporter for the Financial Times, delves deeply into the ways that soccer has become intertwined with the politics, philosophies and worldview of most of the planet's population. Originally published in the U.K. in 1994; this updated version includes chapters that refer to more recent events such as 9/11 and the U S. foray into Iraq. Sketching relations between Holland and Germany or Croatia and Serbia, Kuper describes a transglobal culture of fans, managers, players and political leaders engaged not only on the pitch but in the arenas of money, power and influence. Toward the end of this often slang-laden book, Kuper makes some useful observations: "the main allure of soccer to terrorists is the game's global reach." Indeed, Kuper quotes Osama bin Laden's biographer Yossef Bodansky stating that the deadly 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were the direct result of a foiled plan to disrupt the World Cup competition earlier that year. Arresting stuff, but as a whole the appeal will be limited by the microscopic focus on the particulars of a sport whose professional teams haven't yet found mass appeal in the U.S. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In 1992, Kuper set out to travel the world, looking for case studies to support the thesis in this book's subtitle. He found a former East German who'd been hounded by the Stasi for his love of a West German team, a Slovakian president who made a nationalist statement with troops and truncheons in a soccer stadium, a Ukrainian club that exported nuclear missile parts, and much more. First published in England as Football against the Enemy (1994), this version has been updated (with a new preface, a postscript, and a chapter called "Global Game, Global Jihad") and Americanized (the word soccer substituted for football and occasional American references added). It's an exceedingly interesting book and a good shelf mate for Franklin Foer's How Soccer Explains the World (2004). But while Kuper ably blends travelogue, political research, and social investigation, the material's lack of timeliness limits its effectiveness. And while the examples don't always justify the bold thesis, it's a worthy approach: "Enough has been written about soccer hooligans," he writes. "Other fans are much more dangerous." Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you have ever said "it is just football" then this is the book that will change your mind. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Lolo
The only thing that has made soccer at all interesting to me is this book.Published 7 months ago by kkollwitz
Excellent - Item delivered on time, was as described, excellent bookPublished 8 months ago by Miguel Arauz
I'm an older, more senior type of American trying to get into soccer. So I bought this book. I'm learning about the milieu. Pretty good word, huh? Read morePublished 9 months ago by Max Bville
Simon Kuper, who grew up in my birth country, the Netherlands, is a Financial Times journalist, who is perhaps my favorite writer, as he incorporates many elements into his soccer... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Robert Cohn
this book is great is how football is the most beautyfull sports in the world and how the passion of the sport wakes up the sentiments of the people.Published 15 months ago by Daniel Dirnfeld
great book, simon kuper delivers, very insightful especially the section on Argentinas 78 world cup win, what he says of the new globalized fan is very truePublished on July 5, 2013 by ali