David Goldblatt: The Game of Our Lives



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D I wish I d thought of itGoldblatt is thorough and knowledgeable as always no fault to be found in his research But at times I felt stuck in a well written sociology thesis built on the standard academicpop political framework for modern Britain the assumption that Margaret Thatcher s tenure destroyed everything that once was good and true about Britain wrenching its destiny away from the social democratic paradise that should have been Goldblatt assumes the nassailable truth of this narrative and slots the football in neatly along that trackDoes it work Sure the view of modern football as denatured is such a well worn path Goldblatt s task becomes simply matching parallel if tired narratives But why couldn t he offer something different or at least an attempt at persuasion with an implicit acknowledgment of differing viewsA open mind might have let Goldblatt see broader benefits to the middle class ization of football his admission to decreasing acceptance of public xenophobia and ethnic intolerance almost feels backhanded within the sea of woe Denunciations of changing supporter demographics always strike me as loaded are new supporters simultaneously damned for not watching what came before and damned for signing on now Entertaining the idea that football s positive market signals of the 1990s and 2000s like Thatcher s governments long tenure could have been traceable to truly positive developments rather than cynical commercialpolitical manipulation would have made for a better book and an argument we don t see regularly from the WSCGuardian smart set NB The American publisher s subtitle does a disservice to Goldblatt s work The Premier League is a factor in his analysis but not at all the center that emphasis mis sells the book Presumably someone decided the US name recognition of the EPL brand would help sales vs the accuracy of English football or a translation to soccer but it was a poor choice I sually say soccer but this book is so closely bound to English culture the American sage felt out of place even in a review If you re looking to read a book that ties the formation of the Premier League to the rise and fall of Thacherism in Britain this is the book for you But be warned this is not a sports book It s sociology through the lens of football only a history in the sense that it references things that happened in the past in order to make a point It s a cogent book but I occasionally found Goldblatt s thinking hard to pin down as much as he seems to appreciate the slightly less racistsexist world of football today I get the sense that he d trade all that progress for the pre Premier League fan culture Brilliance A simple word to describe the immaculate amount of great research. Ch 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 een like her mother Prince Harry the chief rabbi and the archbishop of Canterbury was 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 worldF.

Worthy but dull almost the polar opposite of the premier league itself Disappointing Goldblatt has a brilliant mind can write very well and knows his onions Yet the book manages to be overambitious stretched too thin and wilfully ignoring many pertinent factors of the contemporary game most notably booming football podcasting scene for instance Worse of all there is kind of lame conclusion to it all This was an intriguing subject but its detached analysis of English football as well as commentary on Wales Ireland and Scotland despite the cross of St George on the cover meant that it lacked a bit of the life and emotion that is really part of the game s appeal and was a bit of a dry readI thought the structure itself was ite good discussing the abstract of football and the match experience before looking specifically at regional differences and identity and the FA The problem was that it trod a fine line between putting the football in context and stating things already known by someone who attends or follows football On the one hand the historical context of the now too freuent minute s silence there were barely any For the Love of All Thats Holy, Dont Buy a Boat When Venus is in Retrograde until the 1990s wasite interesting on the other hand I know what the warm Scary Stories 3 up is like because I ve seen someThe best chapter for me was on race as it was approached with a proper historian s eye rather than the lazy journalist trope of Ron Atkinson bringing black players to West Brom who weren t even the first team to field 3 black players Not afraid toote racist terms verbatim he made good se of primary source material to present a balanced account This was the strength of the book overall too as Goldblatt described the regions I know about accurately rather than as someone who once heard a joke about Coventry and knows it s a 60 s block of concrete Perhaps there was less material to work with but the sections on gender and the FA felt very short and he completely avoided the political nature of the banned women s football namely that matches were fundraisers for war charities and doesn t even address why the FA might not have taken kindly to this Yet he does devote a page to David Beckham so it s not as though Goldblatt wanted to avoid the detailI really expected to enjoy this and the foundations were there I gather Goldblatt is left wing but despite comments on the distribution of wealth he was balanced on fan ownership than When Saturday Comes and he had actually done proper research But I m not sure who this would suit a British football fan would find it too geeky or would have followed enough of the modern game that too little of it would be revelatory and a foreigner would probably be lost on the distinctions between Hull Leicester and Bristol however astutely discusse. 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 conuered the world The changes in the game David Goldblatt shows ncannily mirror the evolution of British societyIn the 1980s soccer was described as a slum game played by slum people in slum stadiums Su.

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And effort put into the making of this book Good job David Goldblatt this is certainly a great accomplishment for all competitors to reckon with A must read book for football fans even though it won t tell them much they don t know already about what s happened to football in the last 25 years The sad fact is that however scandalous and incompetent football s ruling elites are however venal money grubbing and overpaid football managers and players are and however overhyped and overpriced premier league football is once you get hooked from childhood and devoted to following your team it s impossible to give it all The Bartender up in disgustThe only saving grace and it s not really any comfort as David Goldblatt so elouently shows is that what has happened to football has merely mirrored what s been happening in the rest of society This would have been a MUCH better book if Goldblatt had left the section on Northern Irish football out of it Why Simply because with this section he completelyndoes the feeling you have previously in the book of it been well thought out and thoroughly well researched the section on Northern Irish football is littered with factual inaccuracies and coloured throughout with Goldblatt s own personal views on the given situations being described which has a distinctive pro Irish Nationalist taint he has every right to hold those view Essentially a sociology of English football I read this a few months ago and recall Tono Bungay uite enjoying it but being slightly disappointed by the ending where the author sums the whole bookp through a rather tokenistic four page conclusion Definitely worth a look if you re prepared to make time for a football read though Lots of great content and information well researched and written with occasionally moments of wit and sharp cultural insights The first chapter had me thinking I was going to absolutely love the book but it ended Magical Sweet Mermaid up being good but not greatUnfortunately the book felt scattered and poorly organized There doesn t seem to be any thesis or through line like selected topics in English football Because of this the whole book is less than the sum of its parts chapters Some chapters veer completely of course from their presumed topic after just a page or two leaving you wondering what you are reading about and why I highly recommend the first chapter to those who want to learn about the businesseconomics and origins of the Premier League The other topics covered are interesting but are probably addressed better in other books with focus gender race international football British vs Home Country identies etc If you are not fairly obsessed with all things related English football then you will likely find some chapters tedious or justninterestin. Rom 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 clubs Arsenal Liverpool Manchester United Chelsea Tottenham Hotspur the 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 illuminating manner than soccer and.

Librarians note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this nameDavid Goldblatt is a highly experienced sports writer broadcaster and journalist He is the author of e Ball is Round A Global History of Football Penguin 2006 the definitive historical account of the world’s game He has also written the W orld Football Yearbook Dorling Kindersley 2002 which was publ