Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Soccer Against the Enemy: How the World's Most Popular Sport Starts and Fuels Revolutions and Keeps Dictators in Power” as Want to Read:
Soccer Against the Enemy: How the World's Most Popular Sport Starts and Fuels Revolutions and Keeps Dictators in Power
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Soccer Against the Enemy: How the World's Most Popular Sport Starts and Fuels Revolutions and Keeps Dictators in Power

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,105 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Soccer is much more than just the most popular game in the world. It is a matter of life and death for millions around the world, an international lingua franca. Simon Kuper traveled to twenty-two countries to discover the sometimes bizarre effect soccer can have on politics and culture. At the same time he tried to discover what makes different countries play a simple gam ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published April 28th 2006 by Nation Books (first published 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Fever Pitch by Nick HornbyInverting the Pyramid by Jonathan  WilsonSoccernomics by Simon KuperBrilliant Orange by David WinnerThe Damned Utd by David Peace
Best Football (Soccer) Books
17th out of 255 books — 219 voters
Soccernomics by Simon KuperBrilliant Orange by David WinnerInverting the Pyramid by Jonathan  WilsonHow Soccer Explains the World by Franklin FoerThe Ball is Round by David Goldblatt
South Africa World Cup 2010
8th out of 25 books — 12 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Amir
Apr 03, 2016 Amir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
قضیه شکل اول
شاید بدترین راهی که میشه به این کتاب نزدیک شد همون راهی باشه که خود کتاب پیشنهاد میده؛ اینکه چطور فوتبال روی سیاست و سیاست روی فوتبال میتونه تاثیرگذار باشه. اینکه چطور ممکنه سیاستمدارها بخوان از راه محبوبیت این ورزش برای خودشون امتیاز سیاسی جمع کنن و اینکه چطور محبوبهای این ورزش بخوان سکهی محبوبیت ورزشی خودشون رو تو سیاست خرج کنن... اینکه سوای ماهیت سرگرمکنندهگی، این ورزش چطور «ممکنه و میتونه» تبدیل بشه به یه ابزار سیاسی بسیار کارآمد که طیف وسیعی از آدمها رو جمع کنه در برابر یه هدف و
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Soccer Against the Enemy: How the World's Most Popular Sport Starts and Fuels Revolutions and Keeps Dictators in Power, Simon Kuper
عنوان: فوتبال علیه دشمن ؛ نویسنده: سایمون کوپر؛ مترجم: عادل فردوسی پور؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1389، در 423 ص؛ شابک: 9789643627676؛ چاپ اول تا سوم بهار 1389؛ موضوع: جنبه های اجتماعی سیاسی فوتبال قرن 20 م
Cem Binbir
Aug 06, 2015 Cem Binbir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bilen zaten biliyor, ancak bilmeyenler bu kitaptan futbol kitabıdır diye uzak durmasınlar. Bu kitap taktik, strateji, kupalar vs. anlatmıyor. Gücü elinde tutanların futbolu hangi amaçlarla kullandığını, futbolun ne tür bir "oyun"a dönüştürüldüğünü anlatıyor.

Yayımlanışının üzerinden yirmi yıldan fazla bir zaman geçtiği için bazı kişiler, takımlar eskide kalmış olsa da hala kitaptan öğrenilecek şeyler var. Futbolseverlere zaten öneririm, ayrıca dünya tarihi, siyaset ve sosyolojiye merakı olanlara
...more
Amir
Jun 24, 2010 Amir rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتابی بود که به خواندنش میارزید ولی به خریدنش نه. و فکر میکنم علاقه داشتن یا نداشتن به فوتبال چندان تأثیری در خوشایند بودن کتاب نداشته باشد.
بینظیرترین و خواندنیترین فصل کتاب برای من فصل سوم با عنوان «مخالف فوتبال» بود که به زندگی یک عشق فوتبال بهنام کلابفلایش در برلین شرقی تا زمان سقوط دیوار میپرداخت. حکایت زندگی او در چنان جامعهی بستهای، و بلاهایی که صرفن بهخاطر علاقه به تیم آلمان غربی از سوی دستگاه اطلاعاتی مخوف آلمان شرقی بر سرش آمده بود فوقالعاده تکاندهنده -و البته برای ما تاحدود زیادی ملمو
...more
Bahar
Feb 20, 2014 Bahar rated it it was amazing
یکی از معدود کتاب های مفصلی که من رو پای خودش نشوند و یه کاری کرد که برای خوندش وقت بذارم! حتی اگه کسی فوتبال دوست نداره خوندن این کتاب میتونه براش جذاب باشه چون همه چیزش کاملا مستند و واقعی و جامعه شناختیه!
mohsen pourramezani
سایمون کوپر، خبرنگار جوانِ بیست و دو/سه سالهی انگلیسی به 22 کشور سفر کرده و مشاهدات و تحلیلهایش در رابطهی فوتبال با سیاست را در این کتاب منتشر کرده است.
هیچ علاقهای به فوتبال ندارم ولی با این حال به نظرم کتاب بدی نبود. البته باعث نشد که به فوتبال علاقهمند شوم.
به نظرم بعضی از پانوشتهایش زیادی بود و فرودوسیپور مثل گزارشهای فوتبالیاش سعی میکرد در مورد هر چیزی به خواننده اطلاعات بدهد. مثلا توی متن یکی از گزارشها اسمی از چخوف، داستایوفسکی و نویسندههای معروف دیگر آمده بود و فردوسیپور توی پانویس چندخط ا
...more
سیده زهرا
همیشه برام سوال بود که آیا دلیل استقبال مردم از این کتاب فقط اسم عادل فردوسی پوره یا واقعا کتاب خوبیه؟
کتاب رو هفته اول مهر از کتابخونه گرفتم و در حالیکه به نیمه ی کتاب رسیده بودم، به این حرف فردوسی پور که توی خندوانه گفت، رسیدم: 《اگر به فوتبال علاقه مندید این کتاب رو بخونید و اگر به فوتبال علاقه ندارید هم این کتاب رو بخونید.》

واقعا کتابی عالیه.
بخش هایی از کتاب: در اولین شب حضورم در مسکو به یک مهمانی رفتم و با آمبولانس به خانه برگشتم. نه به این دلیل که مشکلی داشتم، بلکه چون پزشکان روس که فقط دوا
...more
Elizabeth
Apr 27, 2010 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
This book was absolute torture. I had to read it in pieces (and only a couple of pages at a time in order to get through it). While he definitely has interesting anecdotes about the relationship between soccer and politics, and some amusing facts about various national soccer histories, to say the book left something to be desired is an understatement. The title was a complete misnomer. My only comfort three months in to reading the book: the second half of the book was considerably less awful t ...more
Marco
Feb 06, 2014 Marco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book about the connections between soccer, politics and culture around the world.
Kirsten
Nov 08, 2012 Kirsten rated it liked it
Shelves: soccer, 2012-books
I wish I could give this book a higher rating, as I like the premise and I enjoy Kuper's style and often witty insight. But there are two major reasons I can't.
First, the US edition could have stood for some better editing. It seems someone went through a document and did a find and replace for the word "football." The problem is, "football" refers to both the sport and the actual ball, and the editor didn't go through the tedium of re-reading to add the word ball where necessary. This results i
...more
Tahazen
Aug 07, 2013 Tahazen rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports
As a huge football supporter (I refuse to say soccer) -- this book is very disappointing. Don't read it.

This book was written in 1994, and reading it nearly 20 years later -- it is grossly outdated (even with the updates in 2006).

I had to put the book down 30 pages in because it was so dire. I skimmed through other sections just to see if it was just as bad -- and it was. The writing is uninteresting and the stories are tiresome. Celtic is Catholic and Rangers are Protestant...you don't say? Be
...more
Elliott Turner
Oct 04, 2013 Elliott Turner rated it it was amazing
This book has aged super well. We are spoiled by websites dedicated to niches of soccer culture, but two decades ago Simon Kuper shelled out five thousand pounds to travel the then still large world. He interviewed generals, dissidents, and association presidents. He caught games on different continents and traveled like a pauper.

The pacing is breathtaking, the descriptions detailed, and the characters vivid. Even if his conclusions are not so amazing (soccer is a window into a nation's politic
...more
Rich Saskal
Jun 19, 2014 Rich Saskal rated it really liked it
Had the strange temporal distortion of reading this book, researched in the early 1990s, during the 2014 World Cup. As the author readily admits in a preface to a later edition, the internet and globalization have in many ways overtaken his thesis, rooted in the difference of different 'footballing cultures' and political cultures. Footballing culture, in terms of tactics et al, has been a bit more malleable, but as events in Egypt have shown, the sport still can have incendiary impact in a revo ...more
Kahn
Mar 17, 2015 Kahn rated it liked it
Maybe the passing of the years haven't been kind to this 1994 book, but in this day and age discovering goings on behind the scenes or that the beautiful game has been manipulated to suit those in power isn't that big a shock.
What does hold up, however, is Simon Kuper's genuine interest in football in different parts of the world. I question that he attempts to show what makes each country play the game the way they do, but at the time of writing he was clearly keen on understanding what attract
...more
Younes Bavi
Jan 05, 2016 Younes Bavi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ورزشی
خوب,
sac
Sep 06, 2015 sac rated it really liked it
This is the book How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization is trying (and failing) to be/shamelessly rip off. However, whoever prepared the US edition went through and changed football to soccer using find and replace, so there are some hilarious typos, like 'a soccer' instead of 'a soccer ball' and there's suddenly a magazine called 'France Soccer'.
Mohamed Tarek
لولا الفصل الأخير لقيمته بنجمة واحده فقط
بداية الترجمة من اسوأ ما يكون
ثانيا .. هذا الكتاب لا يقدم ما تتوقعه منه. انت تتوقع ان يتناول كتاب مثل هذا نفوذ الكرة في الاقتصاد و السياسة كونها لعبة يهتم بها المليارات من الناس - انا لست منهم - وكيف تستغل في الانتفاضات الشعبية و الثورات. لا يتم عرض هذه الفكرة كما ينبغي ويتطرق الى احاديث بعض اللاعبين و العاملين في مجال كرة القدم في الصحافة و الاعلام.
لطالما ازداد اهتمام الناس في الشرق الاوسط التعس بهذه اللعبة حيث تعمل كملهاة للناس و اداة لتفريغ الكبت.. تم ت
...more
Andrey
Nov 12, 2014 Andrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When this book first came out in 1994, The Times wrote: "If you like football read it. If you don't like football read it". This may have been true then, but reading it 20 years later, one immediatley notices that some of the stories told, probably quite novel back then, have with time transformed into common knowledge. Nowadays even people remotely interested in football know almost everything that is to know about the German/Dutch rivalry and the mafia connections of big Ukrainian clubs. Howev ...more
Matt
Oct 15, 2014 Matt rated it it was ok
First of all, don't read this. It just isn't worth your time. And I'm not saying that because I hated it or that I hate the author - Simon Kuper's book Soccernomics is excellent - but because it just doesn't deliver what it promises. I was going to give this one star until I made it to the final chapter, which was written probably about a decade after the rest of the book. It's the only one that doesn't fixate on Kuper's own irrelevant travels and interviews, and rather deals with the subject at ...more
Paul Haspel
Jul 23, 2014 Paul Haspel rated it really liked it
Soccer has the most widespread appeal of any sport on Earth; everyone knows that. What may not be as readily apparent – especially in countries like the United States and Canada, where soccer lags in popularity behind football, baseball, basketball, and hockey – is how strongly soccer can influence social, cultural, and political life in the countries where it is most popular. Simon Kuper’s Soccer Against the Enemy takes to the pitch with the intent of exploring that often-overlooked aspect of t ...more
Y.
Aug 15, 2011 Y. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tagline na capa deste livro diz "If you like football read it. If you don't like football read it", e é bem verdade. Sempre fui um bocado desconfiado em relação à mistura entre estes dois mundos (o futebol e a literatura), mas este livro é muito, muito bom.

O autor, Simon Kuper, é um jornalista desportivo que percorreu 22 países no início da década de 90 tentando perceber de que modo o futebol influenciou os aspectos políticos e culturais de cada país (e vice-versa). Foi uma altura boa para faz
...more
Thomas
Sep 21, 2010 Thomas rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable read, though you get the impression it could have used a little more attention from an editor. There are a couple instances where the word football was carelessly replaced with soccer, which is fine, as it is an American edition. However, football can refer to the sport or to the ball used in the sport, and in those instances, the word "ball" is missing. Careless. One other editorial qualm - as a book written in the early 90s, the references to football are a bit static, and very much ...more
M.
Nov 03, 2012 M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: football
A question I'm often asked from friends and acquaintances, specially with my other interests, is why I like football that much. One side is because it's involved with many things around us; in addition to strategies, chess-like tactics, and drama, it involves economy, specially nowadays, and more interestingly, politics; which is what the book discusses. The writer takes us for a journey from Eastern Europe to USA, from Latin America to Africa, to witness the interaction between football and pol ...more
Wes Freeman
Mar 25, 2008 Wes Freeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Key book in the eminently readable soccer-as-socio/national-exegesis genre (see Among The Thugs and How Soccer Explains the World). Came out in the 90s so a lot of the articles herein are not as current as they could be, but as I know soccer about as well as I know astrophysics it didn't really matter. Cool book to read if you want to know more about soccer's international culture of fans and get the flavors of the national infrastructures that have grown up around them. I think the idea is that ...more
kasia
Jul 14, 2010 kasia rated it liked it
I'd picked up a copy of this awhile ago - amazon.com reviews of How Soccer Explains the World
said this was a far better book, so I bought it instead. Then, what with World Cup frenzy, it seemed like a good time to finally read it. In a sense, the book is exactly what you expect - a series of essays about the links between soccer, politics, local culture, etc. There's not really much surprising in it (to me at least), honestly, but there's plenty of interesting stuff there. However, I found mysel
...more
Robert
May 25, 2010 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At one point in the narrative, when Simon Kuper is describing the book he ultimately wrote to an interviewee in Argentina, he says that he's working on a book about "soccer and politics." (Note: The use of soccer in that context is likely a publisher's edit for the American market; this happens throughout, occasionally to the point of altering meaning in the words. Find and replace is maybe not the best method of book editing.)

In any case, the Argentine being interviewed responds to Kuper's decl
...more
Donald
Aug 04, 2010 Donald rated it really liked it
Reading this one was a weird experience for me. First off Kuper is an excellent writer and the stories he tells are very compelling. I enjoyed his writing here every bit as much as I enjoyed it in Soccernomics.

What kept throwing me was that I read this book about 15 years too late. Many of the people, places, and events that Kuper details are very much "of the time". That being the early 90's, the fall of the eastern bloc, the break-up of the Soviet Union, the recent end of apartheid in South Af
...more
Tim Roast
Mar 06, 2012 Tim Roast rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about football politics around the globe. It was written in the 92-94 period. It starts with a look at the Dutch national team and their hatred of the Germans. I wasn't very impressed by the initial chapter but after that the stories are excellent. The stories include a look at corruption at clubs in the former states of Russia and how East Germans would try and watch West German teams when the two countries were divided. In fact corruption is a theme that reappears in different c ...more
Trevor
Mar 21, 2016 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kewwar, kewsport, kew-nf
Great read for anyone interested in the intersection between soccer and culture/politics/nationalism (as Kuper states, when a sport becomes this popular, it ceases to be just a sport). It's a bit dated, given that Kuper visited the recently fallen USSR and visited a USA where soccer was still basically unheard of (this was pre-Internet, after all), so maybe a sequel is in order? The dated nature gives it more appeal, however, especially the wonderful chapters on the author's time in the crumblin ...more
Ian
Oct 18, 2015 Ian rated it really liked it
Shelves: stretch
Although a slightly tough read for me, Soccer Against the enemy brilliantly highlighted everything about how soccer as we know today is important to the maintenance of our political society. Simon Kuper Travelled around the world, despite others' skepticism and 20 years on, the stroke of brilliance displayed by his foresight into the future of soccer, still stands. A few hilarious grammatical errors did not prevent me from enjoying one of the best non-fiction books I have read so far!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Football
  • Behind the Curtain
  • Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life
  • A Season with Verona: Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusion, National Character . . . and Goals!
  • The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer
  • The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime
  • The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy
  • Bloody Confused!: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer
  • Morbo: The story of spanish football
  • Africa United: Soccer, Passion, Politics, and the First World Cup in Africa
  • Tor!: The Story of German Football
  • Soccer in Sun and Shadow
  • Calcio: A History of Italian Football
  • My Favorite Year: A Collection of Football Writing
  • Soccer in a Football World: The Story of America's Forgotten Game
  • Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough
  • The Damned Utd
  • The Italian Job: A Journey to the Heart of Two Great Footballing Cultures

Share This Book