Combining personal reflection and social observation, this work paints a complex portrait of a sub-continent in ferment, set against the backdrop of the 1996 cricket World Cup, the most extravagant and controversial event in the long history of the game. The book delves into the dilemmas that dog modern cricket - ball-tampering, biased umpires, media moguls and sponsors, race and national identity, gambling syndicates, and much more.
Mike Marqusee was born in New York City in 1953, emigrated to Britain in 1971 and has now lived in London for more than 35 years.
Among his books are the prize-winning 'Anyone But England: an outsider looks at English cricket' (first published in 1994, revised and expanded 2005), 'War Minus the Shooting: a Journey through South Asia during cricket's World Cup'(1996), 'Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties' (1999), 'Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s' (first published 2003, revised and expanded 2005), 'If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew' (2008) and 'Saved by a Wandering Mind: Poems' (2009).
In addition to his writing, Mike has been active for several decades in numerous campaigns for social justice. In the early 80s he was a youth worker and trade union activist. For twenty years he was an active member of the Labour Party and editor of Labour Briefing. In 1995, he helped set up Hit Racism for Six, the campaign against racism in cricket. After leaving the Labour party in 2000, he helped establish both the Stop the War Coalition and Iraq Occupation Focus. On February 15, 2003, he was a speaker at the the half million strong anti-war demonstration in New York City. He is currently a member of the NUJ and lives in Hackney with his partner Liz Davies.
As well as his books, Mike has published articles on a wide variety of topics in (among others): The Guardian, The Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Observer, London Review of Books, Index on Censorship, BBC History Magazine, New Left Review, Red Pepper (in UK), The Nation, Colorlines (in USA), The Hindu, India Today, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Frontline, Outlook (in India).
Mike has also published longer articles and essays in a number of book-length collections and anthologies, including: 'Nothing Sacred: the New Cricket Culture' (Two Heads, 1996), 'Race, Sport and British Society'(Routledge, 2001), 'The New Ball' (Mainstream, 2000-2002), 'Beyond September 11th: An Anthology of Dissent' (Pluto, 2002), 'Following On: Post-Colonial Cricket' (Routledge, 2005), 'Selling US Wars' (Olive Branch Press, 2007) and 'A Time To Speak Out' (Verso, 2008). A chapter of his work is anthologised in 'The Picador Book of Cricket' (2005), and there is a lengthy interview with Mike in 'Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World' (2003). An essay on US sport in a global context has been reproduced in a widely used Prentice Hall textbook / reader entitled 'Common Culture' (6th Edition) edited by Michael Petracca.
Mike currently writes 'Level Playing Field', a column on politics and culture for The Hindu Sunday magazine, one of India's largest circulation English language publications, and 'Contending for the Living' for Red Pepper.
In 2004, he wrote and presented an hour-long BBC Radio documentary on the history of Pacifica, America's alternative radio network.
In 2005, Mike Marqusee was named an Honorary Faculty Fellow by the University of Brighton in recognition of his "contribution to the development of a critically-based form of journalistic scholarship in the social, cultural and political nature of contemporary global sport."
Mike's articles on a wide variety of topics can be found at: