Browsing through World Cup books
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With the World Cup fast approaching, books on a wide variety of soccer topics are rolling off the presses. Themes range from South Africa guides to the role of organized crime in the international game. Here are a dozen that have crossed my desk in recent weeks (please add your own suggestions in the comments section):
A Beautiful Game: The World's Greatest Players and How Soccer Changed Their Lives By Tom Watt (HarperOne). Don't let the long title intimidate you: This large-format offering is filled with gorgeous photos and candid interviews with some of the sport's most accomplished players, who share their love of the game.
The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime By Declan Hill (McClelland & Stewart). The updated 2008 expose' detailing match-fixing and gambling syndicates is available in paperback.
The ESPN World Cup Companion By David Hirshey and Roger Bennett (Random House). The greatest players, matches, teams, rivalries, divas and divers, 80 years of history and statistics accompanied by hundreds of photos.
Chasing the Game: America and the Quest for the World Cup By Filip Bondy (Da Capo Press). The outstanding columnist for the New York Daily News recounts the run-up to the World Cup and what lies ahead for the American squad.
Death or Glory: Dark Secrets of the World Cup By Jon Spurling (Vision Sports Publishing). Part history, part travelogue, this book discovers how numerous World Cup adventures have been hijacked by dictators and politicians for their own purposes.
African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World's Game By Peter Alegi (Ohio University Press). How the game was transformed on the continent after being introduced by European imperial powers in the late 19th century.
Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France By Laurent Dubois (University of California Press). A Duke professor examines the connections between empire and sport by tracing France's soccer origins through Africa and the Caribbean.
The World Cup: the Complete History By Terry Crouch and James Corbett (Aurum Press). Profiles, statistics, players, venues, memorable matches and even the referees are compiled.
World Cup 2010: The Indispensable Guide to Soccer and Geopolitics By Steven Stark and Harrison Stark (Blue River Press). Essays, cultural angles, history, team previews, player profiles and tournament information packed into 360 pages.
The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatic's Guide By Alan Black and David Henry Sterry (Penguin Group). An irreverent look at the characters and comical moments, heroes and hooligans, underdogs and overachievers.
A Statistical Guide to the World Cup By DJ Foroughi (CLC). A Maryland-based writer compiles every match, player, goal and team in tournament history.
On the Ball By Mercia Strieman. A guide for fans traveling to South Africa who seek travel tips, historical and cultural references, and tournament information.
April 21, 2010; 1:17 AM ET
Categories: 2010 World Cup , Africa , Books , South Africa , U.S. men's national team | Tags: 2010 FIFA World Cup, Random House, Soccer, South Africa, World Cup
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