SPORTS & RECREATION

The Age of Football: Soccer and the 21st Century

Norton. Feb. 2020. 624p. ISBN 9780393635119. $30. SPORTS
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Soccer (or football outside the United States) is the most popular sport in the world, and still growing. Author and podcaster Goldblatt (The Ball Is Round) spent a decade researching soccer’s past century, including its political, financial, and societal impact around the globe; the rise of the women’s game; and the corruption and controversy that has inevitably crept into the sport. Also included in this definitive history are examinations of soccer’s uneasy associations with factions such as the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), multibillionaire owners, and the betting industry. From Russia and Australia to Asia and the Americas, Goldblatt’s epic yet accessible study reveals how soccer is interwoven with every facet of the world’s cultures. Fans of the game will find this absorbing, all-encompassing look at the globally beloved sport both reflects and unites humankind.
VERDICT Goldblatt’s talent for storytelling and clear organization of a vast amount of information makes this an important cornerstone addition for sports collections in both public and academic libraries, and readers with an interest in international socioeconomics.

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