The Age of Football
The epic exploration of society, politics, and economics in the twenty-first century through the prism of football, by the critically acclaimed author of The Ball is Round.
In the 21st Century football is first. First among sports themselves, but it now commands the allegiance, interest and engagement of more people in more places than any other phenomenon. In the three most populous nations of the earth – China, India and the United States where just twenty years ago football existed on the periphery of society – it has now arrived for good. Everywhere nations, peoples and neighbourhoods imagine and invent themselves through playing and following the game.
In The Age of Football, David Goldblatt charts football’s global cultural ascent, its economic transformation and deep politicisation, taking in prison football in Uganda and amputee football in Angola, the role of football fans in the Arab Spring, the footballing presidencies of Bolivia’s Eno Morales and Turkey’s Recip Erdogan, China’s declared intention to both host and win the World Cup by 2050, as well as the FIFA corruption scandal.
Following the intersection of the game with money power and identity, like no previous sports writer or historian, Goldblatt’s sweeping story is remarkable in its scope, breath-taking in its depth of knowledge, and is a brilliantly original perspective of the 21st Century. It is the story of how football has come to define every facet of our social, economic and cultural lives and at what cost, shaping who we think we are and who we want to be.
In the media
David Goldblatt is not merely the best football historian writing today, he is possibly the best there has ever been
Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times
Praise for The Games:
Goldblatt has become arguably the premier anglophone sports historian. Unflinching before millennia worth of material, he tells the Olympic story from the ancient Greeks to today’s festival of sponsors. This book is illuminating, erudite, fair-minded, readable, told at a cracking pace, and puts the Games in their social and political context.
The Financial Times
Praise for The Game of Our Lives:
Not just the best soccer book in many years but an exemplary account of the changing character of British society in the post-Thatcher era.
Prof David Runciman Wall Street Journal
Praise for Futebol Nation: A Footballing History of Brazil
Goldblatt has a knack for putting football into its socio-economic context, a gift for synthesis, and frightening eloquence.
Simon Kuper Financial Times