Winner of the 2015 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award
The Game of Our Lives is a masterly portrait of soccer and contemporary Britain. Soccer in the United Kingdom has evolved from a jaded, working-class tradition to a sport at the heart of popular culture, from an economic mess to a booming entertainment industry that has conquered the world. The changes in the game, David Goldblatt shows, uncannily mirror the evolution of British society.
In the 1980s, soccer was described as a slum game played by slum people in slum stadiums. Such was the transformation over the following twenty-five years that novelists, politicians, poets, and bankers were all declaring their footballing loyalties. At one point, the Palace let it be known that the queenlike her mother, Prince Harry, the chief rabbi, and the archbishop of Canterburywas an Arsenal fan. Soccer permeated the national life like little else, an atavistic survivor decked out in New Britain flash, a social democratic game in a cutthroat, profit-driven world.
From the goals, to the players, to the managers, to the money, Goldblatt describes how the English Premier League (EPL) was forged in Margaret Thatcher's Britain by an alliance of the big clubsArsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspurthe Football Association, and Rupert Murdoch's Sky TV. Goldblatt argues that no social phenomenon traces the momentous economic, social, and political changes of post-Thatcherite Britain in a more illuminating manner than soccer, and The Game of Our Lives provides the definitive social history of the EPLthe most popular soccer league in the world.
|Edition description:||First Trade Paper Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
David Goldblatt was born in London in 1965 and lives in Bristol. He shares his affections between Tottenham Hotspur and Bristol Rovers. He is the author of The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football and Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil Through Soccer. Since then he has made sport documentaries for BBC Radio, reviewed sports books for the TLS and the Guardian, taught the sociology of sport at Bristol University, the International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University, Leicester and Pitzer College, Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
Preface to the North American Edition ix
England Is Paradise
1 Aspiration and Illusion 1
The Economies of the New Football
2 Keeping it Real? 35
Match Day in the Society of the Spectacle
3 English Journey 79
Football and Urban England
4 Playing the Race Game 145
Migration, Ethnicity, and Identity
5 Football at Twilight 183
6 You Don't Know What You're Doing 237
The Misgovernance of English Football
7 Last Man Standing? 265
English Football and the Politics of Gender
Opulence and Squalor in the Football Nation