The Ball is Round : A Global History of Football Paperback
A definitive history of global football.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 992 pages, Illustrations, ports
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 30/08/2007
- Category: History: specific events & topics
- ISBN: 9780141015828
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Review by jrcovey
We are unlikely to ever see a more definitive and complete account of soccer than this. At 911 pages it is a long read but never a slog. Goldblatt seems equally conversant with social theory, political history, and the narrative drama on the pitch and strikes the perfect balance—never too general or abstract, but more than just a series of match anecdotes. (I think I probably learned more about the histories of South America and Africa than from any other single book that I have read.) Soccer is here firmly placed its sociopolitical context without being reduced to a simple function thereof. Pitch invasions, stadium collapses, political intrigue and criminal corruption, not to mention economic exploitation, all get their due here and yet somehow Goldblatt's love of the game comes through. Dense with information but never overwhelming, for me it is the grown-up post-graduate-school equivalent of the many hours I spent as a child reading books about athletes and sports. Highly recommended.