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Barca: A People's Passion (reissued) by [Burns, Jimmy]
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Barca: A People's Passion (reissued) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 385 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Review

From the English businessmen who founded the club, through Cruyff, Maradona, Lineker, Venables, Robson and Ronaldo, FC Barcelona, European football giant and quintessential embodiment of Catalonian pride, has been built on the efforts of foreign mercenaries.

In interview and analysis, Jimmy Burns uses the experiences of these outsiders as his own passport to the heart of the Camp Nou, returning with a hugely enjoyable history of the team and it's fanatically nationalistic support.

Unique amongst the world's biggest clubs, Barcelona has stayed true to it's origins as a quasi-democratic institution. It is effectively a private members club, made up of the 120,000 supporters whose subscriptions bankroll the team, but a sense of ownership extends across Catalonia itself.

At the heart of the book is the struggle for this unique identity to survive the commercial colonisation of the sport.

Burns is a sensitive and intelligent interpreter of what is becoming, for better and worse, a forgotten language of regional tribalism in football. It may not be many years before his study of this enigmatic club is regarded as a definitive memorial to the last great love affair of what was once a people's passion. --Alex Hankin


'Burns' strength lies not just in his compulsive, well-told story of the club's evolution, but his notable grasp of Catalan history.' -- Sunday Times

'Excellent...A densely detailed account of the history of FC BArcelona...Coincides with Barcelona's 100th anniversary but it is not in the least pious.' -- Daily Telegraph

'FC Catalonia could scarcely have wished for a more thorough but sympathetic chronicler.' -- Sunday Telegraph

'Well-written, the book details the level of passion of a club that refuses to tarnish its shirt with a sponser and still belongs to its members.' -- Manchester United

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4731 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; 2 edition (5 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #302,882 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Jimmy Burns explains just how FC Barcelona has become the symbol of the Catalan nation. Burns takes the reader on a crash course through twentieth-century Spanish history and leaves the reader in no doubt that FC Barcelona enjoys a local status far removed from most clubs. This book is well worth a read, and will appeal to general football lovers as well as people interested in twentieth-century Spain.
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Format: Paperback
As in his previous book, about Diego Maradona, Jimmy Burns has succeeded in selecting a subject which is fascinating both on and off the pitch and again the author's painstaking and meticulous research has paid dividends. Whether recounting heroics on the Nou Camp playing surface or conspiracy theories in its corridors of power, Burns has done an admirable job of piecing together the labyrinthine politics and history of Barca.

Barca - A People's Passion traces the club from its foundation by the English brothers Arthur and Ernest Witty and patriarch, Swiss businessman Joan Gampart and early games on waste ground to its current position as one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Along the way we are entertained by myriad fascinating tales involving some of the biggest names in football - Samitier, Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona, Michels, Lineker, Venables, Van Gaal, Robson, Rivaldo, Figo, the list of alumni is impressive to say the least, and collectively they produce a plethora of tales from both on and off the pitch. Burns has compiled an impressive list of interviewees to give their own perspective of Barca, giving the book real insight into life at the Camp Nou.

Despite this, the most absorbing part of Barca's history comes from its prominent role in Catalonian life and the consequently chequered relationship it enjoys with both its own fan base and the rest of Spain. This is most evident during the Spanish Civil War and Franco years, when despite a pro-regime board, the Camp Nou became the focal point for resistance to Franco and a rallying point for Catalan identity and national pride. It was also the time that spawned paranoia and conspiracy theories from di Stefano's transfer saga to claims of official bias and outright match-fixing.
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Format: Paperback
Football Club Barcelona is much more than just a soccer club. It is the personal identity of the Catalan people, their pride and glory. The book by Jimmy Burns is a guide throught the history of Barca and shows why and how a small club has become one of the most popular clubs in Europe and not only, but what is more important, the author tries to analyze what it is for the Catalan people. The beautiful language and style will leave nobody untouched. Whether you are a football fan or not, this book will make you cry and laugh.
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By A Customer on 7 Jan. 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is NOT an 'official' history of the greatest sporting club ever to exist - its much more intresting than that! A tantalizingly comprehensive historical account spanning over 100 years of why culturally and politically Barca is the most important and unique club in the world. The shocking incidents, the profound, sometimes monstrous personalities, the storms generated by the mixture of it all make this one compelling read. From the founder Hans Gamper, a Swiss who committed suicide, to the cloak and dagger 'capture' of Ladislav Kubala, to the accession of Johan Cruyff - a far greater success as a coach at Camp Nou than as a player - the club's history is steeped in drama. Maradona, Ronaldo, Rivaldo need no introduction. You get the feeling Jimmy Burns really does have a passion for the club, but this is compromised by a meandering and sometimes confused 70 page openning to the book - which I suggest you leave until last. CONCLUSION - A excellent, superb book for all football fans alike, and anyone who an intrest for history. An enjoyable read for everyone else.
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Format: Hardcover
Barca: A people's passion
With a motto like "Mes que un club"("more than a club" in Catalan) it was always going to be a difficult task for Jimmy Burns when he undertook the project to charter the history of F.C Barcelona, one of, if not the biggest football club in the world. Burns previous work, the critically acclaimed Hand of God: The life of Diego Maradona, chartered the life of a great enigma and now, perhaps buoyed by this success, he has moved on to another great enigma, Barcelona.
The book is effectively sectioned into two parts; the main section where Burns takes the reader on a chronological journey from Barcelona's foundation in 1899 to the present day, and the short initial section where he recounts his travels with the "cules", the young, often fanatical element of the Barcelona fans to Madrid, Valencia and Manchester. As an opening to what is in essence a history book, this travelog gives the reader an opportunity to experience what being a Barcelona fan is all about.
Research-wise, Burns cannot be faulted, as the book features interviews with everybody from lowly bootboys and fans to the various presidents of the club, including current head José Luis Nuñez. He is thorough to the last even in his coverage of the civil war period when many club and official state records were lost; for example, who outside Spain would have known that Barcelona once had an Irish manager! (Patrick O'Connell 1935-6). F.C Barcelona is indeed "mes que un club", and if there is anything that this book does to perfection it is the emphasis of this fact.
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