The World's Game: A History of Soccer

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University of Illinois Press, 1998 - Sports & Recreation - 218 pages
Known as much for the emotional outbursts and violence of its fans as for its own stars, soccer (or football, as it is known outside the United States) is a global game. Its international controlling body, FIFA, boasts more members than the United Nations. Bill Murray traces the growth of what during pre-industrial times was called "the simplest game" through its codification in the nineteenth century to the 1994 World Cup, held for the first time in the United States. Murray weaves the sport's growth into the culture and politics of the countries where it has been taken up, analyzing its reputation as a game that has seen more riots and on-field brawls than all other types of football combined. He vividly illustrates how soccer has become the world's most popular sport, one that has resisted the interference of politicians, dictators, and profiteers and - more recently - the demands of television, through which it has spread to virtually every corner of the globe. The World's Game will be entertaining and enlightening to anyone from the most avid, knowledgeable fan to those who merely hope to learn a little about the sport.

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User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

This ambitious book attempts to tell the history of the most popular sport in the work in one narrow volume. Of course, mainly it’s a history of the sport played on organized team and particularly on ... Read full review


A Very British Beginning
All around the World
The Booming Twenties
The Decade of the Dictators
Soccer in the Fifties
Contracting World Expanding Markets
New Faces Old Problems
USA 1994
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About the author (1998)

Bill Murray, senior lecturer in history at La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia, is a well-known sports historian who has published widely in sport and politics in the 1930s and on the Olympic Games. His books include The Old Firm: Sectarianism, Sport and Society in Scotland and Glasgow's Giants: 100 Years of the Old Firm.

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