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Football Dynamo: Modern Russia and the People's Game Paperback – 5 Mar 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (5 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753515717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753515716
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"One of the best books about football in a foreign land you will ever come across" (Andrew Baker Daily Telegraph)

"Bennetts has produced an engrossing, authoritative account of the game in his adopted country as it makes a growing mark in Europe" (Independent)

"An authoritative and adventurous examination of Russian football" (The Herald)

"This book does more than just help you learn to love Russia. It even helps you learn to love Russian football" (Simon Kuper)

Book Description

A FASCINATING ACCOUNT OF THE CULTURE AND POLITICS OF RUSSIAN FOOTBALL, NOW UPDATED TO COVER EURO 2008

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By godzilla78 VINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only does the book cover the basics of Russia's new found status as a world force, it explains the political and social contexts of Russian football. The author uses his 10+ years of knowledge in the country to give a run down of all the leading clubs, memorable events and corruption. There are basic histories concerning all the major clubs in Moscow etc and the accusations thrown about of match fixing, corruption, racism and hooliganism. Along with "Behind the iron curtain..." this book is essential reading for those wanting to know more about Russian football.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. J. Walford on 4 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having long since had an interest in Russia, its people and its culture, I instantly bought this book when I saw it was available.

Soviet football had always fascinated me as a nipper. Teams with huge sounding names, such as Spartak Moscow, Dinamo Moscow, Zenit Leningrad, had made Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United all sound minimal in comparison. Bennetts's book covers the history of these teams plus the post-soviet evolution experienced by Russian football in general.

Bennetts covers the whole aspect of Russian football, from the crumbling stadia, the rampant corruption and its political impact to the resurgence of the national squad in recent years. He also enlightens the reader to Russian culture and its increased expression through the growth of football and the people's categorical faith that it all can and will (and has) gone pear shaped.

But what I found really enjoyable was the conversations with Russian footballers, past and present. Quality players who were, are and had been disillusioned with the sport and how normal they all come across as being. I found this particularly strange given the conditions in which they had to play, politically, physically and environmentally.

Very good read, even for those who have no particular interest in footy. Bennetts treats you to the wonder that is the Russian psyche.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE on 10 May 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a great book for football fans interested in the game as a worldwide phenomenon. Bennetts presents a complex picture of modern Russian football, dealing exclusively with the post-USSR period. He gives insights into some of the big Moscow clubs, provincial sides from the extremes of this vast country, and also examines the fortunes of the national side. Many interesting themes emerge, such as the extent of corruption, the influence of Moscow and the political classes, the legacy of the Soviet era, and, more generally, Russian cultural attitudes. It's well written, with easy humour and a genuine attachment to his subject. Particularly interesting was the discussion of foreign players and managers, especially Guus Hiddink, and the difficulties Russian football has had on the broader European and world stage in recent times. Thoughtful and illuminating.
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By Mr. S. J. Macdonald on 25 April 2012
Format: Paperback
this was a chance purchase,picked up in the bargain bin in a discount book shop,not bad for 99p!
im an avid reader of books about the world game and this book stands up well in comparison to other books i regard highly that deal with individual nations eg Morbo(spain),Tor(germany) and Futebol(brazil).It provides fascinating glimpses of a national game probably not overly familiar to many,even the world soccer readers,of us with chapters on numerous russian teams(spartak,cska,dynamo,lokamotiv,zenit) and the national team,along with a chapter on russian hooligans.Like the books mentioned earlier,these chapters are written with regard to russian society as a whole,giving the football-interested reader an insight into an unusual country.
My only criticisms of the book are that the final chapter with regard to the 2007 russia-england EC qualifer is overlong though i suppose its inclusion is understandable in an english language book.I also would have been interested to have seen a chapter about teams from beyond the urals and the challanges they and their supporters face in their day to day,not particularly glamorous existance.
One other thing i would point out is that the book i picked up so cheaply was the 2008 edition(with the russian doll pictures on the cover).Since this was published Zenit have won the uefa cup,Russia have performed supurbly at euro 2008 before unexpectadly not making it through the WC2010 playoffs against tiny Slovenia,big name 2008 performers have moved to and moved on from england,russia and georgia have been at war,russia has been awarded the 2018 WC and the nation continues to reassert itself on a world stage reeling after the 2008 financial near-meltdown;in other words,assuming that the book gets updated(and theres enough for a whole new book) its probably a good idea to look to the most recent edition possible.
Overall,very good,well worth a read
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Gardham on 23 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
Football Dynamo gives Russia the treatment that various writers have given various countries, from David Winner's journey through Dutch football (Brilliant Orange) to Alex Belios's Futebol on Brazil. Writer Bennett holds his own in such exhalted company, but only just. There is obviously many a fascinating story to tell, but the overall effect isn't quite as entertaining as some of its predecessors, particularly Brilliant Orange. This may be because Bennett falls into the trap of being too close to his subject. His love of all things Russian means that even when he's being critical of the corrupt, turbulent way football is run in his adopted country, it can often be like a father scalding a child rather than a juicy exposé of the more seemly members of Russia's football hierarchy.

That said, there is still more than enough in here to keep the average football fan engaged. Russian football is on the up, and anyone wishing to know their Spartaks from their Dynamos could do worse to start with this book. While you don't come away feeling that you understand the ins and outs of one of the most complicated countries in the world, you're bound to know a damn sight more than when you started, and Bennett's style of writing means that the book crackles along at a decent pace. There are probably bigger and better stories lurking behind the Iron Curtain, but for now Dynamo Football will so nicely.
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