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Doctor Socrates: Footballer, Philosopher, Legend by [Downie, Andrew]
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Doctor Socrates: Footballer, Philosopher, Legend Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'Downie has done a grand job of juggling all the different facets of the captain of the greatest Brazil team never to win the World Cup' (Aidan Smith The Scotsman)

'Brilliantly written and researched. Amazing life.' (Alex Bellos Author of Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life)

'Socrates was one of Brazil’s footballing icons...His posthumous fortune is having a biographer whose knowledge and understanding born of many years living in Brazil enables him to bring the reader "the full Socrates" in the colourful context both on and off the pitch...A valuable addition to the football bookshelf.' (Keir Rednedge KeirRadnedge.com)

'I love this book. It’s a book about famous sporting figures that actually it turns out we don’t know that much about…It’s a great book, one of the best I’ve read this year so far. I fully recommend you pick that one up.' (Matt Williams Sports Book Podcast)

'Such a phenomenon [as Sócrates] deserves the rounded, accomplished biography he has been accorded by Reuters writer Andrew Downie, who draws on a knowledge not merely of Brazil's football but of its wider politics and society based on 17 years of living there. Downie celebrates the brilliance and the achievements.' (When Saturday Comes)

'An excellent piece of work. Fascinating study of a complicated man.' (Tom English BBC Scotland)

'Compelling from start to finish - a vivid portrait of one of the greatest players of all time, and of the thrilling, fascinating country he represented.  Highly intelligent, politically engaged, Socrates had an impact reaching far beyond the field of play. Downie does full justice to an extraordinary life, rich in joy, in sadness, and in inspiration.' (Pete Davies Author of All Played Out)

The confounding contradictions of Sócrates’ genius, and his apparent unwillingness to place football at any special pedestal, that forms the basis for Andrew Downie’s excellent new book, Doctor Sócrates: Footballer, Philosopher, Legend... Sócrates not only shaped the idea of what sport can mean to its fans...but he also showed the world that there was a place for dissent even in sport. (Suhrith Parthasarathy The Hindu)

The fascinating story of a true legend. Downie...pieces together the gripping, remarkable and inimitable story of a man who was as prodigiously gifted as he was staggeringly self-centred. (Hindustan Times)

'[Fans] now get the opportunity to read an honest biography of the Brazilian in Andrew Downie’s magnificent work...This must-read sport book of our times....First-class journalism...untainted by hagiography.' (Times of India)

'Andrew Downie...manages to tread a narrow path in describing Socrates, with skilful writing, warmth in reporting and a clear eye. This biography should be compulsory reading for sports fans, but will also hold non-fans in thrall.' (India Today)

About the Author

Andrew Downie is the Brazilian football correspondent for Reuters, and has lived in the country for 15 years. He has written on football for GQ, the Economist, the New York Times and the Guardian among others. He lives in Sao Paulo.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 40304 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (9 Mar. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01GDD1JM0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #250,076 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read many football books but this is the first book that has ever made me cry! Outstanding work by Andrew Downie. I couldn't put it down, best book I have read in a long long time. I would highly recommend this book to not just football fans but to everyone who wants to read about this extraordinary legend both on and off the football pitch.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An absolute legend of the game who done things the way he wanted. He lived a thousand lives told thoroughly here. Also some great insight into his two world cups especially the 82 side he captained. A must read for anyone who loves the beautiful game.
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By Mike on 27 April 2017
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really cool book we written and insightful
Worth the purchase
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An absolutely fantastic book on one of football's absolute mavericks.

Very little is written about Socrates in the English language so I was excited to read this offering.

In-depth, balanced, yet generous with information on 'The Doctor'. I was sad when I finished.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Socrates and this book!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a well-written and hugely entertaining romp which from start to finish takes you on a fascinating journey through the good times and the not so good times of this enigmatic and true legend of the game.
From the care (mixed with no shortage of flair) with which Downie tells his story, it is clear from the outset that he is acutely aware of the uniqueness of the subject matter in his possession and that he feels privileged to be in the position to be able to tell the story of such a fascinating man. He does not disappoint. This is a must-read for those interested in football and equally for those who are not - like other great books (and indeed films) about sport, you don’t necessarily need to be a football fan to enjoy it.
In a similar way to the superb book on Brazilian football by Alex Bellos, you get a real insight into Brazil off the pitch, especially during the dictatorship, and the author cleverly recounts how Socrates challenged the status quo and introduced concepts of democracy and freedom of speech to a generation of Brazilians who had only experienced repression. Socrates is shown to be a great thinker and revolutionary who was courageous in his ability to say what he really thought and go against the zeitgeist. This is all the more striking when you compare him to modern-day vacuous and molly-coddled footballers and their complete lack of opinions, convictions or ability to speak out as individuals.
This is a meticulously researched book and is exhaustive in its use of primary and secondary sources. It is packed full of interesting insights and anecdotes from former colleagues, players and family and you find yourself reading the book with a finger in the index so keen are you to find out the source of that particular gem.
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Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of biographies and I would say this is definitely one of the best, and without doubt the most thoroughly researched I've ever read.
I knew of Socrates as a player from his times playing for Brazil in the World Cup, but Andrew Downie proves that exceptional football skills were just one facet of this man.
The book is so well written it hooks you in like a great novel, but a look at the Notes on Sources and Acknowledgements in this book show that every word of this amazing story is true.
It's amazing that Socrates’ story has not been published before now, and I have the feeling that if it hadn't been for Downie, then time may have run out before the story could be told as thoroughly and thoughtfully as it is here.
Even if you have no interest in football, but like to read about incredible real life characters, then I would thoroughly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most detailed biography I have read. The years of research and interviews clearly paid off, and are clearly seen throughout this book. Kudos to Andrew Downie, the author who did a brilliant job showing all facets of this Brazilian footballer and idol of many. Dr Socrates was truly one of the most authentic personalities -- all fields and industries considered, let alone a very conservative Brazilian football scene during a tough dictatorship such as the one in force in Brazil when Dr Socrates rose as a World-class player. He did not only excelled playing football, but also as a political personality in Brazil. Dr Socrates lived live to the limits of freedom and ironically he succumbed for not compromising a bit to be like that. He died because he was to tied to his own decisions (with astonishingly similarities to the Greek philosopher). I would say that Dr Socrates' human nature portrayed by Andrew Downie is exactly what makes him more than just a footballer, but also an all-time idol. Congratulations do Andrew Downie for such a beautiful way of telling a beautiful life. PS.: I cried reading the Epilogue; the emotions came all at once there and it was like living Dr Socrates' death once again. The joy and sorrow of a day: Dr Socrates' death and Corinthians' fifth national title.
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