Thursday, June 9, 2011

9 June 1994 - The Chapter On The Hertha Berlin Fan Alone Is Worth The Cover Price

On 9 June 1994, Orion Books published Simon Kuper's Football Against The Enemy. It went on to win that year's William Hill Sports Book of the Year and inspire other books, including How Soccer Explains The World by Franklin Foer.

Kuper, who was born to South African parents in Uganda and grew up in the Netherlands, finished writing the book in 1993 after traveling extensively in Europe, Africa, North America, and South America (by the time it was published, he had taken a job as the currencies columnist for the Financial Times). Written from what Kuper describes as an anthropological perspective, Football Against The Enemy includes chapters on the implications of World War II on the Dutch rivalry with Germany, the role of organized crime in Eastern European football, and the changing face of football in Brazil.

The book received very positive reviews, with the Observer calling it one of the top 25 books on sport, while Four Four Two magazine named "the best book on soccer ever."

Kuper, who continues to write for the Financial Times, has since published two other books on football: Ajax, the Dutch, the War: Football in Europe during the Second World War (2003) and Why England Lose & Other Curious Football Phenomena Explained (2009), the latter co-authored with Stefan Syzmanski.

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