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The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccerby David Goldblatt
Synopses & Reviews
The definitive book about soccer. With a new foreword for the American edition.
There may be no cultural practice more global than soccer. Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope. The single greatest simultaneous human collective experience is the World Cup final.
In this extraordinary tour de force, David Goldblatt tells the full story of soccer's rise from chaotic folk ritual to the world's most popular sport-now poised to fully establish itself in the USA. Already celebrated internationally, The Ball Is Round illuminates soccer's role in the political and social histories of modern societies, but never loses sight of the beauty, joy, and excitement of the game itself.
Book News Annotation:
At nearly 1000 pages, this global history of the sport of soccer is determined to be as comprehensive as possible. Goldblatt, an English writer who has previously published World Football Yearbook, traces the history of soccer from its ritualistic past into its current incarnation as an international phenomenon. Combining statistics and development of this sport with dozens of witty anecdotes, this book should interest anyone who has ever kicked a black-and-white ball into a net. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Tour de France is the most-watched annual sporting event on television, surpassed only in viewership by the quadrennial Olympics and soccer World Cup. But while those events are explicitly international, the Tour is a distinctively French event. Eric Reed tackles the dual questions of what it has meant for France to host this media extravaganza every year, and what it has meant for the world of cycling that its premier event is uniquely French.
The story of the men who have raced the Tour de France has been told many times, but the growth of the Tour itself is taken for granted. From its beginnings as a stunt to sell newspapers in 1903 up to today's media spectacle (produced by a staff of 300, with dozens of cars, trucks, buses, and helicopters, and watched by more people than any other annual sporting event), the Tour is a unique window onto France in a changing world. Eric Reed takes us behind the scenes, not just onto the team buses (though the riders' stories are not forgotten) but also into the offices of the organizers (from Henri Desgrange through Christian Prudhomme) as they navigate international politics, the business of selling newspapers, and the quasi-governmental institutions of French TV and radio. Too, we see the role of the Tour in the life of two cities which have hosted stages regularlyand#151;Brest and Pauand#151;and see not only the ways in which they transform themselves in order to host this traveling behemoth, but also the ways in which the Tour has changed their role in France and the world. Reflecting the nationalist politics of its founder Desgrange, the Tour has always represented a distinctively French contribution to international sport, culture, and media.
Yellow Livestrong wristbands were taken off across America in early 2013 when Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he had doped during the seven Tour de France races he won.and#160; But the foreign cycling world, which always viewed Armstrong with suspicion, had already moved on. The bellwether events of the year were Chris Froomeandrsquo;s victory in the Tour and the ousting of Pat McQuaid as director of theand#160;Union Cycliste Internationale. Even without Armstrong, the Tour will roll onandmdash; its gigantic entourage includes more than 200 racers, 450 journalists, 260 cameramen, 2,400 support vehicles carrying 4,500 people, and a seven-mile-long publicity caravan. It remains one of the most-watched annual sporting events on television and a global commercial juggernaut.
Inand#160;Selling the Yellow Jersey, Eric Reed examines the Tourandrsquo;s development in France as well as the eventandrsquo;s global athletic, cultural, and commercial influences. The race is the crown jewel of French cycling, and at first the newspapers that owned the Tour were loath to open up their monopoly on coverage to state-owned television. However, the opportunity for huge payoffs prevailed, and France tapped into global networks of spectatorship, media, business, athletes, and exchanges of expertise and personnel. In the process, the Tour helped endow world cycling with a particularly French character, culture, and structure, while providing proof that globalization was not merely a form of Americanization, imposed on a victimized world.and#160;Selling the Yellow Jerseyand#160;explores the behind-the-scenes growth of the Tour, while simultaneously chronicling Franceandrsquo;s role as a dynamic force in the global arena.
Soccer. Football. The beautiful game. The worlds most popular sport goes by many names, but for decades, fans have agreed on one thing: the greatest player of all time was Pelé. Now the legendary star, ambassador, and humanitarian shares a global vision for what soccer can accomplish. Now he shares his story, his experience, and his insights on the game for the very first time.
Before Messi, before Ronaldo, before Beckham, there was Edson Arantes do Nascimento—known simply as Pelé. A national treasure, he created pure magic with his accomplishments on the field: an unprecedented three World Cup championships and the all-time scoring record, with 1,283 goals in his twenty year career.
Now, with the World Cup returning after more than sixty years to Brazil—the country often credited with perfecting the sport—soccer has a unique opportunity to encourage change on a global level. And as the tournaments official ambassador, Pelé is ready to be the face of progress.
For the first time ever Pelé explores the recent history of the game and provides new insights into soccers role connecting and galvanizing players around the world. He has traveled the world as the global ambassador for soccer and in support of charitable organizations such as Unicef, promoting the positive influences soccer can have to transform young men and women, struggling communities, even entire nations. In groundbreaking detail and with unparalleled openness, he shares his most inspiring experiences, heartwarming stories and hard-won wisdom, and he puts the game in perspective.
This is Pelés legacy, his way of passing on everything hes learned and inspiring a new generation. In Why Soccer Matters, Pelé details his ambitious goals for the future of the sport and, by extension, the world.
Commemorative poster inside the jacket
About the Author
David Goldblatt is the writer/compiler of Dorling Kindersley's World Football Yearbook. Born in London in 1965, he now lives in Bristol, England.
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Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Soccer » General
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