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The Game of Our Lives The Meaning and Making of English Football by David Goldblatt

The Game of Our Lives The Meaning and Making of English Football

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Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2015.

In this sparkling book David Goldblatt argues that no social phenomenon tracks the momentous economic, social and political changes of the post-Thatcherite era in a more illuminating manner than football, and no cultural practice sheds more light on the aspirations and attitudes of our long boom and subsequent bust.


The Game of Our Lives The Meaning and Making of English Football by David Goldblatt

In the last two decades football in Britain has made the transition from a peripheral dying sport to the very centre of our popular culture, from an economic basket-case to a booming entertainment industry. What does it mean when football becomes so central to our private and political lives? Has it enriched us or impoverished us?


'Offers an enlightening, enriching experience. It is based on a formidable range of sources, personal observation and a pleasingly sardonic turn of phrase. Not all football writers know their stuff, let alone the socio-economic context, but Goldblatt does. Altogether this is an exceptional book' -- David Kynaston Guardian

'Brilliantly incisive. Goldblatt is not merely the best football historian writing today, he is possibly the best there has ever been. Goldblatt's book could hardly be more impressive' -- Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times

'Not just the best soccer book in many years but an exemplary account of the changing character of British society in the post-Thatcher era' -- David Runciman Wall Street Journal

About the Author

David Goldblatt is the author of The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Football (Penguin, 2007), the definitive historical account of the world's game, and of Futebol Nation (Penguin, 2014), a highly acclaimed footballing history of Brazil. For a number of years he wrote a sports column in Prospect magazine and has made a number of documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and for the World Service, including ones on football in Jerusalem and the politics of the game in Kenya. He has also taught the sociology of sport at the University of Bristol, at De Montfort University, Leicester, and at Pitzer College, Los Angeles. He lives in Bristol.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th March 2015


David Goldblatt

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Penguin Books Ltd


400 pages


Sport from the Armchair
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Football (Soccer, Association football)



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