Ajax, the Dutch, the War: Football in Europe During the Second World War

Simon Kuper

nonfiction sports
informative slow-paced

264 pages | first published 2003

In Football Against the Enemy Simon Kuper crossed the globe in search of the links between football, politics and culture. In Ajax, the Dutch, the War he skilfully pieces together an alternative account of World War II. He looks at the lives of the footballers who played for the Dutch club, the officials and the ordinary fans during this tumultuous period and challenges the accepted notion of the War in occupied Europe. With almost 80 per cent of Amsterdam's Jewish Corner wiped out during the war, the long-held belief that, by and large, half the Dutch population had some kind of link to the Resistance has, of late, come into question. Kuper explores this issue and looks deeper into the role of football across Europe in the years both preceding and following the War. The result is a compelling and controversial account of the War, seen through the lens of football.

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