Customer Reviews for

Among the Thugs

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Brutal

    Compelling if disturbing read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2002

    Mob's rules

    Buford's look into the seedy underworld of that segment of England's football supporters' spotty past, is well worth a read. Humorous at times, shocking at others, Buford finds a thread that doesn't unravel the mystery of the violence witnessed in soccer stadiums across England, but chronicles his movements as a mostly welcomed outsider, allowed to travel with the true thugs he attempts to understand. While his journey is entertaining, it is disturbing to the same degree. Why does he spend so much time with the hooligans? He is not an anthropologist, but merely a writer who is interested in the behavior of people in mob situations and attempts to make some sense of it. In the end, he does not come to an explanatory conclusion that satisfies the depth of his interest in the mob, and thankfully the story ends just as he runs out of energy for telling it. Unfortunately, we are left with the unanswered question of why soccer hooligans looted stores, vandalized cars, started fights with opposing team supporters and a host of other things. Could they get their motivation from the same source that prompts hockey spectators to beat on the plexiglass wall separating them from the players when a puck is trapped in the corner, or that allows fathers at their kids baseball games to fight other kid's fathers over a missed call, or that causes much of America to watch any one of the proliferation of 'real' police-in-action or Jerry Springer-type telvision shows? Buford's look into that world gives us cause for reflection and introspection. What causes a normal, happy blue collar worker with a family to behave much like a criminal simply because of his attendance at a football match on a Sunday? Perhaps if you read the Buford's book, you'll come closer to that answer which is one worth asking. Hold on tight though, because it will take you for a ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2000

    Rude, Brittania

    Bill Buford, a naive American adrift in England, tackles a very dicey subject: Mob violence by English football fans. He starts out innocently enough, trying to find the allure, cause, nature, basis, and form of England's notorious football hooligans, but soon has difficulty separating himself from his subject matter. As he relates his journey into the world of the yobs, we get a vivid picture of the people and the events, but no real glimpse into what is behind the football mob violence -- even after Buford spends most of the second half of the book trying to work it out. The only real insight were provided is that the mob becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and that there is a line where a person within the mob ceases to be an individual, and becomes a compnent of a greater organism. However, questions such as why sporting crowds in the US, Canada, or other countries never reach the level of violence or mob mentality as seen in England are never addressed, nor are questions of why this sort of violent behavior seems to be limited to a very large degree to football (soccer) crowds. Of course, that subject is beyond the scope of any one book. Still, the snapshot into the seedy world of NF members, jingoistic supporters, drunks and felons provided by Buford is entertaining, in a voyeuristic sort of way. Besides, unless you are intimately familiar with crowds at English, or any European, football matches, Buford's book is best if taken as a sort of superficial sociological travelogue, offering a glimpse into a strange land, complete with foreign customs, traditions, uniforms and etiquette. Reading 'Thugs' won't provide too much enlightentment on sports violence or the psychology of mobs, but it will entertain. And with the coming Euro2000 tournament, reading this may prove timely, as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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