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Winning at All Costs: A Scandalous History of Italian Soccer [Paperback]

John Foot
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Aug 2007
The 2006 World Cup final between Italy and France was a down-and-dirty game, marred by French superstar Zidane's head-butting of Italian defender Materazzi. But viewers were also exposed to the poetry, force, and excellence of the Italian game; as operatic as Verdi and as cunning as Machiavelli, it seemed to open a window into the Italian soul. John Foot's epic history shows what makes Italian soccer so unique. Mixing serious analysis and comic storytelling, Foot describes its humble origins in northern Italy in the 1890s to its present day incarnation where soccer is the national civic religion. A story that is reminiscent of Gangs of New York and A Clockwork Orange, Foot shows how the Italian game - like its political culture - has been overshadowed by big business, violence, conspiracy, and tragedy, how demagogues like Benito Mussolini and Silvio Berlusconi have used the game to further their own political ambitions. But Winning at All Costs also celebrates the sweet moments - the four World Cup victories, the success of Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, the role soccer played in the resistance to Nazism, and the great managers and players who show that Italian soccer is as irresistible as Italy itself.

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Winning at All Costs: A Scandalous History of Italian Soccer + Calcio: A History of Italian Football
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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; First Trade Paper ed edition (3 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568583680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568583686
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.1 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Shows how football and Italian society are inextricably interwined, and is full of fascinating vignettes."

About the Author

John Foot teaches modern Italian history at University College London. He writes for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, and the TLS and is the author of books on Milan and modern Italian history.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If this book did come out with a new title sensationalising it's text as being a "scandalous history"; that might be the only quibble I have with the book. It is really an all-around history as far as I can see. Maybe 20 percent is that "scandalous" part and that would entail the match fixing scandals and some other items that have occurred but I read it for all it's other information. Fascinating chapters of history, fascinating profiles. So, in the book, you have profiles of players, profiles of teams, world cup appearances, foreigners in their league, yes, Gazza is in there along with Klinsmann and a number of others, the origins of the game there, it has just about everything except maybe statistic tables but it does have a glossary of "calcio" terms. Though I've read through it, I've found it convenient to just open up randomly as well.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, boring, boring and wrong. 7 Jan 2009
By M. Ryan
This book could happily be used by insomniacs everywhere, and is some achievement given the true passion of Italian football. It tries to tell us about everything,and fails to tell us much about anything. It misses hugely important topics like Coverciano, policing at Italia 90 and what really went wrong at Heysel. When you write about Heysel you had better be sure you know what you are talking about. Foot doesn't. You would think that winning the World Cup in 1982 barely raised a cheer in Rome This certainly isn't a book to do justice to the famous family name. Hugely disappointing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Informative 30 Oct 2012
By Vincent A. Sodaro - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have never been a fan of soccer. I had watched some of the World Cup in 2002, and followed Italy all the way to the Championship in 2006. When 2010 World Cup rolled around, I realized I was actually looking forward to it. So I decided to pick a team in 2011 in the Serie A Italian league, and follow them thru the year. I also bought this book to help me learn about the history of Italian soccer, and to help me select my team. (Juventus).The book was unbelievably captivating. I learned so much about the game in general and particularly about the Italian game. The research was impressive, and the stories often fascinating. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about Italian Calcio, and about the sometimes dark history of the game.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Soccer Book I've Ever Read 27 Mar 2008
By Luke Baldacchino - Published on Amazon.com
It's hard to explain how good this book is. When I was searching for a soccer book, I wanted one that was not only stats and the usual stuff, I wanted one that was written in a fun way and had stuff in it that I had never heard off. This book fits the bill. If you like Soccer and want to read about Italy's soccer traditions, scandal, Money, media, World Cup and a lot lot more, this book will be a hit with you. This book is totally amazing! Buy it!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent history of Italien football 13 Nov 2009
By Elmar Sauerwein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the most comprehensive history of Italian football spanning from the very beginnings until today I have seen so far. It incorporates even the 2006 scandals and Worldcup 2006. Excellent read.
In case you are a Tifoso of Italian football this is a must for your library.It rate it even higher than Birgit Schönau: Calcio: Die Italiener und ihr Fußball (The Italiens and their football) written in German.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 13 Aug 2014
By zaid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Such a great book.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Italian Football history 8 April 2009
By E. Mullins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have only just started to read this book and already I am impressed with the way it flows. Cant wait to get to the more recent history facts. Good stuff.
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