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2022.06.23 关于足球的五本必备书籍

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Five essential books on football
An eclectic selection covering the beautiful game and why it matters
T7BHXK London, UK. 05th May, 2019. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (A) scores the first Arsenal goal, from the penalty spot, past Mathew Ryan (B&HA) 1-0 at the Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion English Premier League football match at The Emirates Stadium, London, UK on May 5, 2019. **Editorial use only, license required for commercial use. No use in betting, games or a single club/league/player publications** Credit: Paul Marriott/Alamy Live News
Jun 23rd 2022


This article is part of our Summer reads series. Visit our collection to discover “The Economist reads” guides, guest essays and more seasonal distractions.

The world should, by rights, be in the midst of a football World Cup this summer. But the controversial decision by fifa, the body that governs the sport globally, to award the marquee event to Qatar, which will host it in the winter, has left viewers bereft of football action. Fans looking to fill this void could try consuming the game in another form. We have written on how art and football sometimes combine. Books about football rarely match the drama and beauty of the sport but these five come close—and show why, for many people, the world’s most popular sport is much more than just a game.

Fever Pitch. By Nick Hornby. Penguin; 272 pages; $14.99 and £8.99

All sports elicit obsession, and football stands out for its fanatic following around the world. But for much of its history, and especially in Britain, passion for football was sneered at. Fans were regarded as thugs or lunatics for expending so much energy and money on a game. That perception began to change in the 1990s. One catalyst for this was Nick Hornby’s novel. In “Fever Pitch”, he chronicles his own obsession with Arsenal Football Club and the challenge of balancing this with life’s more prosaic elements (such as his relationship with his partner). “Real life is paler, duller, and contains less potential for unexpected delirium,” he explains. The book was a hit, inspiring two film adaptations and, most important, legitimising football fandom. It stands apart not just for its import but its quality. It heralded a new era of football writing, and expanded the sport’s literature beyond vapid football biographies and niche club histories.

More Summer reads
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• What if the Ottoman Empire had not collapsed?
• Hayek, Popper and Schumpeter formulated a response to tyranny
• Our Free Exchange columnist considers just how Dickensian China is
•Six guides to biology as seen at different scales

Soccer Against the Enemy. By Simon Kuper. PublicAffairs; 336 pages; $17.99. Published in Britain as “ Football Against the Enemy”; Orion Publishing; £9.99

The new wave of writing unleashed by “Fever Pitch” included a genre that examined football’s larger meaning. As the build-up to the Qatar World Cup has demonstrated, football and politics are frequent bedfellows. “Football Against the Enemy” provides perhaps the first and most vivid illustration of this relationship. Simon Kuper regales readers with footballing tales from 22 different countries, featuring totalitarian states, overbearing religious institutions and African despots. He shows how football shapes national identity and culture. Much has changed since 1994 when this book was published, including the game itself, but the role of football in the world remains undiminished. Even in today’s age of sportswashing, football retains its importance. Last year another book by Mr Kuper, “The Barcelona Complex” won much acclaim. We reviewed it here.

Soccer in Sun and Shadow. By Eduardo Galeano. Verso Books; 248 pages; $17.95. Penguin; £9.99

Many countries love football but for South Americans it is an almost torrid affair. Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan poet, elegantly portrays this passion in a love-letter to the game. This is a simple book, a series of vignettes of football’s greatest moments and players, and the circumstances surrounding them, described in rich language. A staunch socialist, Mr Galeano is vitriolic about the excesses of the professional game and its feckless bureaucrats. But like so many fans, he can never walk away. “Professional football does everything to castrate that energy of happiness, but it survives. And maybe that’s why football never stops being astonishing,” he writes.

This Love is Not for Cowards: Salvation and Soccer in Ciudad Juárez. By Robert Andrew Powell. Bloomsbury; 272 pages; $25 and £14.99

A recurring theme in books about football is the game’s ability to serve as a balm for social unrest. Robert Andrew Powell, an American journalist, shows how this is true even in the most desperate of circumstances. He spends a year in Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, just south of the Texan border, then the world’s most dangerous city. He follows Indios de Ciudad Juárez, a hopeless football team fighting for survival. Amid the terrible violence caused by the war on drugs and despite its terrible football, the team offers something for everyone, most of all to its devoted fan group, the sardonically named el Kartel. Don’t read this book to understand why Mexico is so violent but rather to understand how football can offer a distraction—and through that a degree of comfort—from that violence. Shortly after Mr Powell leaves Mexico, the club, which he suggests may have been a front for money-laundering, is disbanded. Yet, as he powerfully highlights, for a little while its existence showed why football can matter so much for so many. (Read our full review)

A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke. By Robert Reng. Vintage; 400 pages; £10.99

Despite often being drably-written guff, replete with platitudes and humdrum match descriptions, books about footballers are still a popular genre—thanks to loyal fans willing to swallow anything their heroes throw at them. One exception to the genre’s banality is Robert Reng’s biography of Robert Enke, a German goalkeeper. In 2009, just as Mr Enke was approaching his sporting peak, he took his own life. It shocked a sport wont to ignore the importance of mental health. Without becoming overbearingly sentimental, Mr Reng describes Mr Enke’s journey up to that point, providing a powerful account of self-doubt, depression and the under-appreciated burdens of high-level sport.■

T7BHXK 英国伦敦。2019年5月5日。2019年5月5日,在英国伦敦酋长球场举行的阿森纳对阵布莱顿和霍夫阿尔比恩的英格兰超级联赛足球比赛中,皮埃尔-埃梅里克-奥巴梅扬(A)从点球点打入阿森纳的第一个球,以1比0战胜马修-瑞安(B&HA)。**仅供编辑部使用,商业用途需要许可证。不得用于投注、游戏或单一俱乐部/联盟/球员的出版物**信用:Paul Marriott/Alamy Live News

这篇文章是我们夏季读物系列的一部分。请访问我们的收藏,以发现 "经济学人读物 "指南、特邀文章和更多的季节性分心。




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对抗敌人的足球。作者:西蒙-库珀。PublicAffairs;336页;17.99美元。在英国以 "足球抗敌 "的名义出版;猎户座出版社;9.99英镑。


阳光和阴影下的足球。作者:爱德华多-加莱亚诺。Verso Books;248页;17.95美元。企鹅;9.99英镑



有关足球的书籍中反复出现的一个主题是足球运动作为社会动荡的安慰剂的能力。美国记者罗伯特-安德鲁-鲍威尔(Robert Andrew Powell)表明,即使在最绝望的情况下,这也是真实的。他在墨西哥的华雷斯城呆了一年,该城就在德克萨斯州边境以南,当时是世界上最危险的城市。他跟踪Indios de Ciudad Juárez,一支为生存而战的无望的足球队。在打击毒品的战争所造成的可怕暴力中,尽管它的足球很糟糕,但这支球队为每个人提供了一些东西,最重要的是它忠实的球迷群体,即被称为el Kartel的人。读这本书不是为了了解墨西哥为何如此暴力,而是为了了解足球是如何分散人们对暴力的注意力的,并通过这种转移获得某种程度的安慰。鲍威尔先生离开墨西哥后不久,这个他认为可能是洗钱的幌子的俱乐部就被解散了。然而,正如他有力地强调的那样,它的存在在一小段时间内表明了为什么足球对许多人来说是如此重要。(阅读我们的完整评论)

一生太短:罗伯特-恩克的悲剧。作者:Robert Reng。Vintage;400页;10.99英镑

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