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Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here?: The Story of English Football's Forgotten Tribe Hardcover – 27 Sep 2012


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Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here?: The Story of English Football's Forgotten Tribe + Promised Land: A Northern Love Story
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (27 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857388126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857388124
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.8 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 371,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'An enthralling new book' Patrick Barclay, Evening Standard.

'In this thought-provoking, absorbing exploration of what he terms 'English football's forgotten tribe', Anthony Clavane reminds us there have been notable homegrown footballers of the faith' Independent on Sunday.

'The epic Anglo-Jewish journey from ghetto outsiders to football insiders' New Statesman.

'A must-read for all football fans' Jewish Chronicle.

'beautifully told ... remarkable book ... superbly written' Morning Star.

'brilliant' Jewish Chronicle.

'Clavane offers us a splendid, warmly written slice of untold social history' New Statesman.

'with great warmth and skill weaves their individual sporting stories into the longer arc of English Jewish history' Times Literary Supplement.

'His research is outstanding, the complexity of his argument deftly handled and his snapshots unforgettable' When Saturday Comes.

From the Inside Flap

Ever since the children of penniless immigrants caught the train from Whitechapel to White Hart Lane - to be greeted with the refrain: 'Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here?' - a forgotten tribe of trailblazers have helped to shape the Beautiful Game. In this passionate and illuminating book, Anthony Clavane argues that Jewish figures such as Louis Brookman, Leslie Goldberg, Willy Meisl, David Pleat and David Dein have played a key, if sometimes forgotten, role in football's transformation from a working-class pursuit played in crumbling arenas to a global entertainment industry. In telling the fascinating lives of these largely unsung pioneers, Clavane uncovers a hidden history of Jewish involvement in English football: from the Brady Street boys, an all-Jewish team who were as handy with their fists as they were with their feet, to shady figures like One-Armed Lou, a gangster with chutzpah who never told the story of his missing limb the same way twice, through to the businessmen who helped form the breakaway Premier League, and in the process changed the English game for ever. Featuring larger-than-life characters such as the irrepressible Leyton Orient chairman Harry Zussman, Spurs superfan Morris Keston and the pugnacious winger Mark Lazarus, as well as placing the story firmly into the context of this immigrant community's integration into British society, Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here? is a brilliant exploration of a crucial but hitherto overlooked strand in the history of English football.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Toon 9 on 1 Oct 2012
Format: Hardcover
Just finished "Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here?". What a brilliant interesting book, probably the best football book I've ever read! And I've read a few... The story Anthony Clavane tells has to my knowledge never been told before -the jewishness of English football and vice versa. A delight to read, much thanks to the writer's beautiful prose.
A unique book and a well needed breath of fresh air when it comes to books about football - or even books in general! Serious, enlightening and funny at times. Just as good as Clavane's first book, "Promised Land".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ben Rosamond on 23 Oct 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here?' is the logical sequel to Anthony Clavane's previous book, the wonderful 'Promised Land'. Whereas the latter focussed on the interplay between Jewishness and football in the context of a single city/club (Leeds), 'Does Your Rabbi ...' takes a broader perspective on the role played by Jewish figures in development of the English game. Using a simple three-fold periodisation and hanging the narrative around a series of key individuals, Clavane tells a compelling story that not only lifts the stone on a largely hidden side of football history, but also constitutes an impressive essay on the dilemmas confronting Judaism is Britain over the course of the past century. The book is fascinating, funny, sad and chastening in equal measure. Clavane has a special talent for bringing his characters to life. Some - players such as Louis Bookman, Leslie Goldberg/Gaunt and Mark Lazarus - are properly rehabilitated as figures whose broader social importance matches their status as outsider-pioneers in the game. Others - Roman Abramovich, David Pleat, David Dein, David Bernstein - are perhaps better known, but Clavane makes sure that the reader understands their importance to key transformations in the English game. There is also space for under-appreciated visionaries, the brilliant journalist/tactician Willy Meisl being the prime example. This absorbing tour de force confirms Anthony Clavane as one of the finest sports writers currently working.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard Murphy on 30 Oct 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here?' is much more than the story of Jewish engagement with professional football in the UK, fascinating and compelling though that story proves to be. It's also much more than a Jewish football history, engrossing and unexpected though that history proves to be. In writing this extraordinary account Anthony Clavane turns a powerful and accurate spotlight on the bigoted, old-fashioned and reactionary so-called values that have held back not only the development of our `national game' but the nation itself. This is a book that lays bare awkward truths that have been hidden for so long, a book in which the `English' (by whatever definition one chooses) can clearly see themselves. It is also a book about heroes, real heroes who emerged through struggle and adversity and it is also the best book I ever come across that defines and understands this obsessive passion so many us in Britain have for glorious game of association football. `Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here' is compelling, entertaining, always surprising and most importantly it is inspiring. A must read for football fans and non-football fans alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By emjay on 30 Jan 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable - a comprehensive and interesting read. The author had researched his subject well and very little was omitted
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Toby Young on 26 Mar 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I was researching an article about Tottenham Hotspur FC for the Wall St Journal, but ended up reading it from cover to cover. It's a very entertaining account of a largely unexplored phenomenon with just the right combination of historical research and personal autobiography. Good title, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Saabor on 29 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband thoroughly enjoyed this read . Highly recommended. Received it next day as Prime member. Great present for anyone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some parts of this book are great, in particular the sections on Mark Lazarus and Leyton Orient. Other parts seem to sag slightly.
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