How Soccer Explains the World
An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
By Franklin Foer
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780066212340, 272pp.)
Publication Date: July 1, 2004
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Religious, economic, political and ethnic divisions around the world are dramatically illuminated using the world's most popular sport as a lens and metaphor. A groundbreaking work.
Soccer is much more than a game, or even a way of life. In fact, it's a perfect window into the cross-currents of today's world, with all of its joys and sorrows. Soccer clubs don't represent geographic areas; they stand for social classes and political ideologies. And unlike baseball or tennis, soccer is freighted with the weight of ancient hatreds and history. It's a sport with real stakes -- one that is capable of ruining regimes and launching liberation movements.In this remarkably insightful, wide-ranging work of reportage, Franklin Foer takes us on a surprising tour through the world of soccer, shattering the myths of our new global age. Instead of destroying local cultures, as the left predicted, globalization has revived tribalism. Far from the triumph of capitalism that the right predicted, it has entrenched corruption. From Brazil to Bosnia, and Italy to Iran, this is an eye-opening chronicle of how a beautiful sport and its fanatical followers can highlight the fault lines of a society, whether it's terrorism, poverty, anti-Semitism, or radical Islam -- issues that now have an impact on all of us. Filled with blazing intelligence, colourful characters, wry humour, and an equal passion for soccer and humanity, How Soccer Explains the World is an utterly original book that makes sense of our troubled times.