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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2008
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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VINE VOICEon 10 May 2011
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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on 4 March 2012
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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on 25 April 2012
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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on 23 September 2008
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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on 23 February 2010
Excellent! A fascinating study into not only the world of football but of Russian culture as a whole. I don't believe you would need to be a die hard football fan to enjoy this book, anyone with a passing interest of European football or culture would find this hard to put down...
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on 28 December 2011
I found the delivery to be very fast and the book of excellent quality. I really recommend both this seller and the book itself. Football Dynamo is a very informative book with interesting sections.
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on 12 October 2014
putins modern russia in a football book really..corrupt racist behind the times going backwards awash with oil money..i enjoyed it though and its worth a read
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Football in Russia is on the up. Oil money is flooding into club football meaning that the top teams can now compete on almost level terms with the Liverpools, Milans and Barcelona's of European football. The national team is thriving too. Under the shrewd guidance of Guus Hiddink Russia had an excellent European Championships despite surrendering weakly to the eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals.

But, like many aspects of Russian life, to many people Russian football is a bit of a mystery. Most football watchers will have heard of CSKA Moscow and Moscow Dynamo and they will have been impressed by the skills of the youthful Andrei Arshevin. If they are old enough, they will remember the great Lev Yashin and maybe Oleg Blokhin in the eighties but apart from that will probably know very little.

Not all aspects of Russian football are positive though. As well as the problems which are out of their control, for example, the harsh climate and the sheer vastness of the country makes attending an away match an ordeal, there are other 'man made' problems - accusations of match fixing are commonplace, racism is rife and hooliganism is widespread - that may eventuallly hold back the growth of the game in Russia.

In this book Marc Bennetts attempts to fill in the gaps in our knowledge and he succeeds. Although never an engrossing read it is quite entertaining as well as being highly informative.

This is an good introduction to Russian football.
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