jptaft's review

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informative medium-paced

4.5

elemomi's review

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informative fast-paced

3.5

mugren's review against another edition

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3.0

Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, but soccer instead of food.

myphairlady's review against another edition

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informative slow-paced

4.5

aarhodes's review

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3.0

I liked it overall but it got dicey in the last chapters.

trenton_ross's review

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5.0

This book is nothing short of amazing. Frank Foer actually provides an argument that the processes of globalization can be explained through soccer clubs. Before reading the book I figured the man had to be crazy, because frankly i just couldn't see it, but upon completion he actually provides a compelling argument for this theory and has convinced me at the very least globalization trends can be viewed in several clubs past and present. The only really problem I could find in the book was his support for Barca. Other than that it was completely flawless.

jnepal's review

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4.0

A very interesting read. I liked it.

The author takes us on a journey around the globe looking at soccer and how it interacts or relates to certain regions, peoples, nations, and events. Mr. Foer shows us genocidal soccer fans/owners in Serbia, tackles the "Jewish question" in relation to soccer (specifically in Europe), introduces us to sentimental soccer hooliganism in Britain, explains how soccer has been used by Iranians as a freedom of expression, decries the anti-soccer rhetoric in America as anti-globalization, and provides us glimpses of soccer in other areas of the world as well.

His writing is straight forward and easy to read. He vividly shows how soccer is used and transformed by its participants and by outsiders. He describes some of the visible affects of globalization on soccer and tries to explain how the changes in soccer manifest the changes in the local communities due to globalization.

The one criticism I have for the book is its lack of analysis. The author does provide some analysis, but does not provide the depth of analysis I was hoping for. Perhaps my expectations were unreasonable, but it would have been neat to see the relation between different peoples, nations, societies in the soccer world and how that related to the bigger picture of globalization.

I enjoyed this book. He did not provide as much analysis as I had hoped, but he provided some interesting information and intriguing stories.

writesdave's review

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4.0

Brilliant analysis of world affairs vis a vis the world's game. There are some excellent parallels between major world events and soccer, which I found very enlightening.

nrom's review

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3.0

An interesting take on the effects of globalization on soccer throughout the world. Each chapter focuses on a different country, ending with America. I thought it was a decent read, although very grim in the early chapters. The book was recommended to me to help with strategic thinking, but I don't think I learned any lessons from that unless I decided to become a capitalist.

sdc's review

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4.0

Many will be able to get through Foer's book in one sitting as it's a collection of essays featuring futbol-centric dispatches from far flung places. It's the mark of a good read when you find yourself wanting more, but there are glaring absences on this global journey. Such as Asia and a re-unified Germany. The only taste of Africa readers get is via the Ukraine. These would be welcome in a sequel, especially since South Africa has hosted a World Cup since this book was published.