Terrific. Fantastic. A hell of a book. In the best tradition of literary journalism, Robert Andrew Powell finds the story we'd missed in our own backyard, using the love of soccer to reveal the humanity that survives in hyper-violent Ciudad Juárez. This is the best sports non-fiction I've read in a long, long time. (Grant Wahl, New York Times bestselling author of The Beckham Experiment)
To call This Love Is Not For Cowards a sports book does it an injustice. Powell tackles a subject that actually should matter to Americans: The bloody breakdown of civic life just over the U.S. border -- and the ways it can corrode even the most detached observer's soul. Daring, honest and wielding a pitch-perfect ear, he uses soccer to chart Juarez's ultra-violent anarchy the way the best correspondents chronicle war. He leaps into the devil's playground -- and reports the hell out of it. (S.L. Price, senior writer, Sports Illustrated)
The most dangerous game is believing in life. Robert Andrew Powell takes us into the most murderous city in the world, where a soccer team and its fans teach us how to live and why. This book will save your life by giving you life. (Charles Bowden, author of Murder City)
Candid . . . Unsentimental and deeply humane. (Kirkus Reviews)
[A]n edgy, anecdotal view of a place where 'Murder is effectively legal'… Powell captures surreal feelings of beauty and desolation, exuberance and danger. Though the Indios fail and fail big, Powell succeeds brilliantly . . . An eye-opening and unforgettable account of a part of the world that, for all its notoriety, is effectively invisible. (Booklist (starred review))
Much like the soccer classic The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss, Powell's work explores not only the connection between an athletic team and its fans but also one city and one community's ability to simultaneously face conditions that destroy hope and try to restore faith, and in doing so he has written not only a great sports book but also a powerful treatise on civics and human nature. (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Robert Andrew Powell is the author of "We Own This Game" (Grove/Atlantic, 2003), a story of race, politics and football in Miami. The book was excerpted in Sports Illustrated; the magazine later named it one of the Best Books of 2003. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, Play, Slate, Mother Jones, Inc., 5280, Sports Illustrated, Runner's World, the Kansas City Star, on public radio's "This American Life with Ira Glass," and in the "Best American Sports Writing" anthology. He also produced a documentary film, "Year of the Bull," which first aired on Showtime. He has won a James Beard Award for his food writing and twice been a finalist for the Livingston Award. He lives in Miami.