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The Age of Football

The Global Game in the Twenty-First Century
Narrated by: David Goldblatt
Length: 24 hrs and 40 mins
3 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

The Age of Football is the epic exploration of society, politics, and economics in the 21st century through the prism of football, by the critically acclaimed author of The Ball is Round, David Goldblatt.

Football is the beautiful game. It has become the dominant sport on the planet; watched, played, talked about, and obsessed over by billions. From the grass roots of Africa and India, to the corruption of FIFA, the rise of China to the cauldron of Russia 2018, football is the common denominator that reaches across all social, political, and economic spheres. To understand the 21st century, its essence but also its future, we need to understand what football and its place in our lives means. 

From watching kids play in the heart of Africa to surveying the catastrophe of the Maracanã stadium, stripped of every copper wire as well as its legacy, The Age of Football cuts across the inequities of economic globalisation, the tumultuous impact of the rise of the global south, the dismal state of global governance and the rise of new, truly transnational, social movements. This is the definitive story of the present and future of the best game in the world.

Drawing comparisons with Adam Tooze’s Crashed, and Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Age of Football provides a radical but eye-opening guide to the new geography of globalisation and the making and meaning of global football. With its eyes firmly on the realm of power and money that uses football for its own ends, it never loses sight of the simple game and its complex beauties that captivates the world.

©2019 David Goldblatt (P)2019 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

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Very disappointing - out of date and narrowly focused viewpoints

Extremely disappointed with this title. From the first couple of chapters you can see how out of date it is. It’s almost as though this book was released in the early to mid 2010s... not in 2019 when it was actually published. Many of the frames of reference are dated and seem to speak towards the author’s own subjective viewpoints.

The more you get through the book, the more that last point becomes clear. Despite the lengthy nature of the title the author seems to have a narrow degree of focus on certain subjects. Indeed it would seem a lot of this is informed by his own preconceptions both on a cultural and sporting level.

Also thought it was a mistake for the writer to narrate his own title. His delivery is over emphasised and grates over prolonged listening.

I had been hoping this would be a weighty and informative tome. Unfortunately, despite trying to present itself that way, it has not managed to keep up with the evolution of the game in the last few years and is too influenced by the author’s limited worldview.