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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (Nov. 11 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568585063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568585062
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Readers curious about why people around the world care so deeply about teams made up of mercenary, millionaire strangers and owned by billionaire businessmen will find some answers in Goldblatt’s analysis.” —Bill Littlefield, The Boston Globe

"[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

About the Author

David Goldblatt was born in London in 1965 and lives in Bristol. He shares his affections between Tottenham Hotspur and Bristol Rovers. He is the author of The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football and Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil Through Soccer. Since then he has made sport documentaries for BBC Radio, reviewed sports books for the TLS and the Guardian, taught the sociology of sport at Bristol University, the International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University, Leicester and Pitzer College, Los Angeles.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a4e5de0) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4f28ac) out of 5 stars Themes and topics are familiar, but Goldblatt provides deep and exhaustive analysis Dec 28 2014
By Jason McKinley Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I started following the EPL when I studied in London in 1994. I acquired tickets through my school to see the US Men's National Team, fresh off a surprise run as hosts of the World Cup, play England in the old Wembley. Of course, I rooted for my national side, but I was deeply impressed by several English players, especially Ian Wright, and my love affair with the EPL, and specifically Arsenal, was born.

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4f2900) out of 5 stars I enjoyed this since I am an American fan of English ... Feb. 4 2015
By Photographer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this since I am an American fan of English football. I didn't want a detailed blow-by-blow discussion of the Leagur=e results year-by-year. Rather, correlating the goings on in the Football Leagues with British society was very interesting. I really enjoyed the section comparing English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish football history.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By STEVE MARRON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this very unevenly written, lurching from slangy references ("blokes", "dolly birds", "the never-never") to some paragraphs that seem to require a doctorate in socio-economic theory to make any sense. I think you need to be REALLY interested in the history of English football to wade through it. The chapter dealing with the origins of the clubs in the Premier League was very interesting (although slang-ridden); the other chapters very dry.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4f2d20) out of 5 stars A Great Social History Jan. 29 2015
By NEGeez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While directed at fans of soccer, it is really probing analysis of English society since the 1990s. I follow soccer because its broadcast in the US the Premier League, but even if you don't care about the sport, or the English version of it, the soccer-related material isn't so dense as to make Goldblatt's commentary inaccessible.
HASH(0x9a4f50fc) out of 5 stars A Cultured Left-foot Read May 12 2015
By Tyler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful introspective look into the relationship behind football and British culture during the modern, so-called "Premier League" era. Goldblatt conveys a thorough understanding of business, fan culture, and on-the-field performance of British teams and how they have been shaped by the post-imperial, globalized Britain of today.

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