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Publisher's Summary

The definitive book about soccer, from the author of The Games: A Global History of the Olympics.

There may be no cultural practice more global than soccer. Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope. The single greatest simultaneous human collective experience is the World Cup final.

In this extraordinary tour de force, David Goldblatt tells the full story of soccer's rise from chaotic folk ritual to the world's most popular sport - now poised to fully establish itself in the USA. Already celebrated internationally, The Ball Is Round illuminates soccer's role in the political and social histories of modern societies, but never loses sight of the beauty, joy, and excitement of the game itself.

©2006 David Goldblatt (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Ball Is Round

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  • Kaitlin Thornhill
  • 23-06-2020

long detailed history of football i

I like that its long also. took time to listen to. although I knew a lot about football I still learnt a lot

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  • Kent Olsan
  • 06-07-2021

Bullet points

I had high hopes for this book going in as I love the game and wanted to get a feel for the origins. However, there was never a cohesive flow to it. I felt like the author created an outline with a few items of interest under them and left it at that. The performer read the bullet points. I found myself disengaged in the content more so than not. I made it through 4 hours and couldn't take it any more. I may try to continue, but I doubt it.

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  • Gavin O'Brien
  • 14-05-2021

Great Book, Lots Of Mispronounced Names

This audio book is well worth the price, if you can stand the mispronounced names. You’d think that these mistakes would have been caught and corrected, or that the reader was familiar with world football pronunciations. Hearing Juventus of Turin’s nickname pronounced “Joov” instead of “You vay” was particularly grating.

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  • Christopher Curtis
  • 12-05-2021

Great book read by someone who doesn't like footy

I don't mean to sound pretentious, but the users pronunciation of many of the continental players/teams/terms regarding football really detracted from the experience. "Joov". it kept happening and it just started to annoy me and I would lose focus on the book, and would have to go back. otherwise, this is just a tremendous social and historical review of football. it's essential reading.

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