8 Sporting Must-Reads
Lists tend to be contentious. This, probably, won't be any different. There are innumerable books devoted to the highs and the lows, the glory and the disgrace, and to the heroic and villainous personalities of sport -- and paring it down to a nice, neat octet will mean some glaring omissions. Well, we can live with that. With the Olympics just days away, here are eight picks that aren't so much as sporting tomes, as they are revelations and affirmations of the human condition.
Football Against the Enemy
It's more than a game, football fans often cry. Non-believers meanwhile, tend to wave off these seemingly melodramatic pronouncements without too much fuss. But what the latter fails to realise is that there is indeed much more to football than 22 men chasing a ball.
In this excellent book, journalist Simon Kuper describes how the sport affects lives in (mainly) the world's troubled areas. Travel with him as he whizzes through Ukraine, Argentina, South Africa, Central America and other idyllic locales to tackle hot-button issues of the time like communism, hooliganism, apartheid, war, corruption and plenty more fun stuff. With acute geopolitical, socioeconomic and sociological insights, learn what underpins the hold of football on populaces in these parts.
The Anglo-Dutch Kuper is one of the preeminent scholars of the game, and this, first published in 1994, rightly ranks as a classic.
Available at ilovebooks.com