Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.95
  • Save: $5.02 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Behind the Curtain has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by worldofbooksusa
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Behind the Curtain Paperback – November 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.93
$7.77 $7.10

"Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History"
Beautiful, kinetic images that give us the essence and meaning--the transcendent power--of sports. Learn more | See related titles
$16.93 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Behind the Curtain
  • +
  • Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life after Communism
Total price: $39.88
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

With style and erudition, [Wilson] proves that football is a metaphor, an allegory, and much more than just a game

Enlightening

About the Author

Jonathan Wilson is the Football Correspondent for the Financial Times, and has travelled widely throughout Eastern Europe.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752879456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752879451
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven E. Brown on November 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my favorite soccer book I've read. Part travelogue, part history and politics, and part sport, in 'Behind the Curtain' Jonathan Wilson travels through Eastern Europe and explores the people, the cultures, and the problems via the lens of football. Whether he is sharing a drink with former guerrillas in Belgrade, or traveling the back roads of Armenia, Wilson's book is enthralling and I couldn't put it down.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Viewed as a collection of unrelated stories on the same topic (triumph and tragedy in the football cultures of former Soviet republics), this book succeeds. It is not a tight continuous narrative, though. This makes for good airplane or beach reading. Take a country's chapter, read it on a short flight, and you can pick up a few weeks later with another country if you like.

It is also a vivid depiction of these places and the people who inhabit them, which is a nice bonus in a football book. There have been some real personalities over the years.

I recommend Behind the Curtain if you enjoy learning about this part of the world and if you like reading stories about football or sports in general.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Simply a superb soccer book. It's not just the "big" nations that the author looks at nor are they the most interesting. By delving into such places as Bosnia-Hercegovina, Armenia, Azerbaijin as well as the big boys of Russia, Croatia and Romania we get a truly complete picture on the state of the game both from a historical perspective but with a firm eye on the present and future.

It's so enjoyable to learn a nugget like the "Russian" linesman Tofik Bakhramov who confirmed that England's third goal in the 1966 World Cup Final did cross the line has the national stadium named after him in his native Azerbaijan. The book is filled with these and they are not just thrown in as trivia asides but are investigated and explained in entertaining details.

Here's hoping author Jonathan Wilson is working on a followup as this subject has so many more stories I'm sure to tell even as thorough a job as he did on this one.
2 Comments 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
There is an exciting new generation of Football writers. Men like Gabe Marcotti, Simon Kuiper, and JONATHAN WILSON. WISON wrote THE definitve book on the history of Football Tactics called INVERTING THE PYRAMID. In this book WILSON introduces you to 3 Russian coaches, BORIS ARKADIEV, VICTOR MASLOW, and VALERI LOBANOVSKY for their groundbreaking theories about how Football should be played. At once WILSON was teaching more about Russian/Soviet Football than I had ever known. But where did the knowledge come from?

In BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN, WILSON reveals that his English family used to vacation behind the old Iron Curtain (why?). And those holidays opened WILSON"S eyes to the different ways Football was being played. He also made contacts enabling him to travel relatively freely from country to country behind the "curtain." This became the background of BEHIND THE CURTAIN.

WILSON takes the reader on a travelogue of the crumbling Soviet Empire. Where there was once glitter and propaganda, after the fall of the wall there is now decay and dis-illusionment. And the football of the region did not escape the rot. Consider Hungary. Unbeaten from 1950 through the Championship match of the 1954 World Cup, and then another long unbeaten run until the Soviet invasion in 1956. Some of the game's greatest players like Nandor Hidegutki, Josef Boszik, Sandor Kocsis, and the incomparable Ferenc Puskas were Hungarian stars. They were The Aranyscsapat (The Golden Team). But when the players scattered across Europe the gold lost it's luster and Hungarian football decayed even faster than the county's infrastructure.

Or take the case of Russia's Edouard Steltsov. At 17 he appeared on the horizon as the game's next great superstar (like another 17 year old, Pele).
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Alex McCoy on February 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is yet another of the great works by J. Wilson. It is definately not a mass-public book, but the soccer fan who likes to read about soccer in different parts of the world will be well-rewarded. Some of the countries he discusses are so different than what we think of when we think of European football that it is a real culture shock. However, the book makes you actually want to take and interest in Eastern European football, or to even see a game from the earth enbanked and rail-road ties recycled seats in some really, really poor places. An enjoyable read from a master of the genre.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jonathan Wilson is a great author who investigated these stories so well! I've always been in love with Eastern European football, and it was great to learn about it in such entertaining and detailed fashion.

This covers the Balkans thoroughly, Hungary, the Caucasian states, of course Ukraine + Russia, Poland and more. Weaving history and culture with football, the big picture issues with money after the fall of communism are painted brilliantly. The politics of historically politically significant Eastern European clubs are depicted wonderfully.

I wish there was more to go from here and more Wilson books available on Kindle!

Only thing is that the landscape in Russia has changed so dramatically over the past few years (see Zenit, Rubin, Terek, Anzhi), it could perhaps use a bit of an addition to the Russian section. Other than that, an amazing book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Behind the Curtain
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Behind the Curtain