8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A marathon, not a sprint. But I'm over the moon, Brian,
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This review is from: The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football (Paperback)
First things first, this is a massive book. 978 pages long(including index), it weighs about half a hundredweight. But it does precisely what it says on the tin - it is a global history of the global sport. It starts off exploring the roots of the game, how different versions developed and eventually coalesced into the sport we know today. How the sport took off and developed in each continent, how tactics and cultures developed, the impacts of television, sponsorship and the global media environment. It ends up at the 2006 world cup, as billions of people prepare to watch, the game having shrunk the world to one set of fans.
It's very thorough, very detailed. It puts football into an historical context - showing how it can both respond to and lead wider and greater events. Crucially, it's also very very readable. It doesn't get boring (unless you don't like football, of course. In that case, it must be one of the dullest books imaginable) at all and is all very easily digested. You can read in long sittings or dip in and out.
Highly recommended. If you have strong enough wrists.