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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a football book; a psychological study and trip down memory lane...
This book is stunning: more than a piece of sports journalism, it is an intense psychological examination of a city with a turbulent life story, an enduring image (not always complimentary) to outsiders, and a fierce and passionate character which burns to this day.

Taking as his central motif the sign which was once on display high and proud at Leeds train...
Published on 5 Oct. 2011 by Mark O'Brien

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to a not so torrid affair...
Wherein the author examines his 'Leedsish-ness' compares it with his Jewish background in a somewhat contrived, but-we'll go with it- manner and doesn't convincingly pull off what he set out to do. I agree with the comment from the previous reviewer about this being an Award winner being a damning comment on the strength of the competition.
I'm a Leeds fan but whilst...
Published on 5 Sept. 2011 by Peter Young


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a football book; a psychological study and trip down memory lane..., 5 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
This book is stunning: more than a piece of sports journalism, it is an intense psychological examination of a city with a turbulent life story, an enduring image (not always complimentary) to outsiders, and a fierce and passionate character which burns to this day.

Taking as his central motif the sign which was once on display high and proud at Leeds train station declaring 'Leeds - The Promised Land Delivered', Clavane examines that very character, telling an epic saga which weaves together the story of the football club, of the city, and of the Jewish community in which he himself grew up.

His reflections are searingly honest. Famous vignettes from the seminal New Wave film 'Billy Liar' (originally written by Leeds-born Keith Waterhouse) are recurring scene-setters, which Clavane builds upon to charactise the city as an historically ambitious place where idealistic dreamers have come to achieve: Hull-born architect Cuthbert Brodrick who built the majestic Town Hall; and of course Don Revie, the man who took over as Leeds United manager in the sixties, ordering his team to play in an all-white strip like that of world-class Real Madrid.

Yet that ambition, that apparent self-confidence Clavane suggests betrays a rather more deep-seated insecurity about ourselves: that no matter what pretentions we might ever adopt towards worldwide greatness, we will never lose our abiding provincial roots.

A book which gives every Leeds lad or lady a great deal to think about. It is at once a nostalgic tread through footballing history; a treatise on sport and culture; and a fascinating treasure chest of stories - mostly now forgotten and little-told - about a city and a football club which continues to have its "ups and downs".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough Love for Leeds, 13 Sept. 2011
By 
Richard Wilcocks (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
Clavane's love for Leeds, his tough love, is always there. Sure, it's not just about football, or football in context: the book is about tribes from the point of view of an active member, with sharply focused looks at particular tribal attitudes. It is properly biased in favour of `community cohesion' (a pair of words widely used but seldom fully understood in the world of education) and against those who seek to wreck it, like the oddly-named Service Crew, the notorious gang of Leeds hooligans which brawled its racist and xenophobic way across the country a quarter of a century ago. Clavane would endorse the words of Nelson Mandela, who said, "Sport has the power to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else can....it breaks down racial barriers...it laughs in the face of all discrimination."

The book is awash with background information and interesting well-I-never-knew-that details, in addition to predictable coverage of the notable LUFC bosses of the past few decades. There is plenty on Don Revie, for example, to supplement what can be found in David Peace's The Damned United, or rather to put a few things straight. Clavane goes over well-known facts, adds a few more and exposes some false legends. There is also a fair amount on the half-forgotten Albert Johanneson, one of the first great black players in English football, who really needs a good biography written about him, and his fellow South African Lucas Radebe, he of the Kaizer Chiefs, the boy from Soweto who became one of the Premier League's finest defenders and whose memory is still revered in Leeds.

One of the really significant aspects of Promised Land is the series of connections made with the literature which has come out of the city and its environs - Billy Liar for example, or Tony Harrison's poem V. There are also references to sociological works like the well-worn Uses of Literacy and Nick Davies's more lurid The Dark Heart, which describes how the street children, beggars, muggers and joy riders of Leeds all come creeping out at night, and to books on architecture. I get the feeling that Clavane could write an excellent illustrated guide to local architecture. So the book is not just for a run-of-the-mill fan who might put down the Daily Mirror and pick up a book (picture it) on the coach to a match.

It's fluent and engaging, with a heart worn on the sleeve, which puts it on a different level to some other books about sport, free of jargon and automaton journalism and more than accessible to people who have a flimsy knowledge of soccer. People who have never been to Leeds in their lives would enjoy it as well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repeated rise and fall of a football club, 11 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
This is a personal history of Leeds United. It briefly takes in the early years of Leeds City and Leeds United, but really hits the ground when Don Revie took charge in the sixties and Leeds nearly reached the Promised Land of the title - European success - and failed. It then goes through the struggles and tribulation of Leeds United as they fall and rise again, under Wilkinson and O'Leary, always falling just short of the fabled Promised Land. The book is interspersed with Clavane's own Jewish family history and how it intersects with Leeds history, but this is more than 'Fever Pitch at Elland Road' - it is a very incisive account of the causes and consequences of Leeds United's success and failures, both on and off the pitch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb story of modern Britain, 1 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
This book is an absolute gem. It takes the reader on a journey through the connected history of the city of Leeds and its football club. In general, there is very little written about the urban history of Leeds and its communities, probably because the city is so relatively young in comparison with its neighbour, York. However, this book does the job, accounting life in the industrial age. It's highly relevant to me, as it's where I'm from, but friends who are not from Leeds and support other clubs have enjoyed it too. Whether you like football or not, if you're interested in the urban social history of northern England, this is a book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than a Football book, 31 Mar. 2014
By 
Nico (Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
I am not a Leeds United fan in fact i don't follow football at all but I enjoyed this book immensely. This book is a lot more than a book about Leeds United football club although the clubs trials and triumphs certainly form the main theme of the book. The book is also a social history of Leeds and the cities ups and downs. I thought the book had a clever mix of content that was woven together well. Certainly worth reading even for people not all that interested in football.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Promised land reached..., 31 Dec. 2011
By 
John Anderson "luvdepipes" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
As a lifelong Leeds Utd. fan (God help me!!),I was very impressed with this book which shows the connections between Leeds Utd. and the city of Leeds especially the inter-dependence of one upon the other. I wasn't fully aware of the huge Jewish influence both within the city and the Club so it was a bit of an eye-opener in that respect. It's a combination of a sports and a social history that are intertwined very well and I found I couldn't put the book down. I passed it on to a couple of pals and they were also impressed with it. Altogether a very informative and thought provoking book. 5 stars definitely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perceptive, and not just about football...., 26 Oct. 2011
By 
D. Horton (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
The Promised Land both challenged some of my assumptions about and confirmed some of my impressions of Leeds - my adopted home city of the last twenty years. In this fascinating and beautifully written book Clavane provides not only a great insight into Leeds United but also, I think, a brilliantly perceptive analysis of the culture of the city.....
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4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd copy I have bought, 8 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
Coming from a family of Leeds fans, once I had got my Dad this and he gave it the thumbs up it was then an obvious choice to get my brother in law. He can relate to the author as a Leeds fan who also lives in the South and was really pleased with it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to a not so torrid affair..., 5 Sept. 2011
By 
Peter Young (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
Wherein the author examines his 'Leedsish-ness' compares it with his Jewish background in a somewhat contrived, but-we'll go with it- manner and doesn't convincingly pull off what he set out to do. I agree with the comment from the previous reviewer about this being an Award winner being a damning comment on the strength of the competition.
I'm a Leeds fan but whilst I thoroughly enjoyed Nick Hornby's ground breaking effort, this isn't a patch on Fever Pitch in terms of the writing quality, the humour, affection or the way it made me feel at the end of it - there's no affirmation of faith. It's a decent idea which is executed moderately well but with some large gaps - the ECWC Final in Salonika is overlooked completely. I found it a patchy read and won't revisit it.
Of interest, not a bad read but certainly not essential.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bought for a friend, 28 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Paperback)
My friend enjoys this genre of book so this was a great gift for her. She said that it was a good read.
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Promised Land: A Northern Love Story
Promised Land: A Northern Love Story by Anthony Clavane (Paperback - 7 July 2011)
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