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The Game of Our Lives: The English Premier League and the Making of Modern Britain Hardcover – Nov 11 2014
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"[Goldblatt] writes about soccer with the expansive eye of a social and cultural critic....[He] has written not just the best soccer book in many years but an exemplary account of the changing character of British society in the post-Thatcher era.” David Runciman, The Wall Street Journal
[D]eeply researched and worth the read for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of both English football, and English society in general.” Men In Blazers, newsletter recommendation
David Goldblatt’s The Game of Our Lives offers an enlightening, enriching experience it is based on a formidable range of sources, acute personal observation and a pleasingly pithy, sardonic turn of phrase. Not all football writers know their stuff, let alone the socio-economic context, but Goldblatt truly does altogether, this is an exceptional book” David Kynaston, The Guardian
"[An] exceptional new book, beautifully describing British football’s inner workings with scholarly depth and a literary touch that challenges, entertains, and inspires." Los Angeles Review of Books
It is difficult to describe in words what an outstanding storyteller and incomparable researcher David Goldblatt is." Kartik Krishnaiyer, World Soccer Talk
Brilliantly incisive Goldblatt is not merely the best football historian writing today, he is possibly the best there has ever been Goldblatt’s book could hardly be more impressive.” Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times Culture
[P]rodigious research and a fluent writing style .this is a fine book which should have an appeal much beyond the game.” Mihir Bose, The Independent
[A]n encyclopaedic portrait of English football stripped of all the non-stop hype. The beautiful game is, after all, a dirty business.” Financial Times
[A]n intensely readable socioeconomic study of English football in the age of globalisation.” New Statesman
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As a long time fan, the general topics and themes of Goldblatt's book are familiar to me, so I hope the serious EPL follower doesn't expect to be surprised by the ground covered. However, the exhaustive nature of his explanations, the myriad examples he provides, and the manner in which he connects the development of football with the social and economic forces external to it, deepened my understanding of this world. At the heart of his assessment is how association football--fairly recently seen by some in British society as the brutish sport of the working class-grew into a global phenomenon and economic powerhouse while the industrial England that had sustained it faded out of existence. There are also insightful sections on football's delayed progress in racial integration and on the incompetence and glacial evolution of the FA. Certainly worth a read for any fan of the English game.
A better editorial pencil would help (there is no such team as the "Tampa Bay Bucks" in the NFL) and a more consistent stylistic tone to even out the narrative would be welcome. I think Stefan Szymanski's "Soccernomics" (cited in this book) does a much better job of explaining the financial implications of the football world, the Premier League included.