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     Volume 5 Issue 98 | June 9, 2006 |

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The Football Fever

National Identity and Global Sports Events
Alan Tomlinson & Christopher Young (Editors)
State University of New York Press; March 2006

National Identity and Global Sports Events looks at the significance of international sporting events and why they generate enormous audiences worldwide. Focusing on the Olympic Games and the Football World Cup, the contributors examine the political, cultural, economic, and ideological influences that frame these events. Selected case studies include the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin, the 1934 World Cup Finals in Italy, the unique case of the 1972 Munich Games, the transformative 1984 Games in Los Angeles, and the 2002 Asian World Cup Finals, among others. The case studies show how the Olympics and the World Cup Finals provide a basis for the articulation of entrenched and dominant political ideologies, encourage persisting senses of national identity, and act as barometers for the changing ideological climate of the modern and increasingly globalized contemporary world. Through rigorous scholarly analyses, the book's contributors help to illuminate the increasing significance of large-scale sporting events on the international stage.

Three Lion's Roar: A Novel of World Cup 2006
Umut Ozturk
iUniverse Incorporated; July 2005

Imagine a Sunday night championship match with the underdog U-12 boy's team pulling away with a 2-0 victory. Or how about a Champions League final with the underdog team Liverpool, after being down 3-0, coming back to win it all in a shootout? Whatever the circumstance, whoever the opponent, Three Lions Roar pays tribute to just that: "the underdogs"! We have all lived it, whether it was watching the World Cup final or just playing a pick up game. We have all felt it, the feeling of rising up to the occasion when all obstacles are in your way, and nobody believes it can be done. For all of you who get goose bumps every time you discuss your old glory days, this book is dedicated to you. Wonderfully constructed, former football coach, Umut Ozturk, gives us play-by-play of a nation's race towards glory and England's hope of winning a World Cup.

White Angels: Beckham, Real Madrid & the New Football
John Carlin
Bloomsbury USA; November 2004

While most Americans are clueless about it, there is a sport played by the rest of the world that inspires such widespread and ferocious fanaticism those busboys, journalists, sultans and taxi drivers can all expound on its details for hours, no matter what their nationality. Football (called "soccer" by unknowing Americans) is the closest thing to a lingua franca that the world has, Carlin says, and no team inspires more speculation, or takes up more ink, than Spain's Real Madrid. Since the 2003 acquisition of David Beckham, the celebrity player who came from Britain's Manchester United, Madrid is at the top of the world's game. European sports journalist Carlin describes the whole story in loving detail. He deploys endless metaphors and brings to vivid life the sometimes dry details of high-salaried sports figure trades and the play-by-plays of a game that doesn't lend itself well to such descriptions. With chapters on Beckham's celebrity, the history of the Spanish team, the roles of the other players and the impact the game has on the rest of the world, this is an engaging story of how the union of one player and one team has changed the way a sport is played and discussed.





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