World Cup Nation
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Much ink and some blood have been spilt around the World Cup, which initiated a series of protests, forced evacuations, and an economic recession. The acute awareness of the Cup's catastrophic implications for Brazilians has not prevented millions from watching the game, led by a creeping and powerful sense of hope. Whether a match is a sweeping victory or a crushing disappointment no one can help but marvel at the event's monumental importance, and few fail to feel awe at the sport's swift beauty. As the knockout stage is about to start, Nation Books authors can help you decrypt the surprises of the group stage, from Italy and Spain's prompt exit to Iran and the US's surprising endurance.

Our books attempt to make sense of soccer's multiple contradictions and have been praised for their critical analysis of soccer all across the media. Whether taken together or separately they sketch a complex kaleidoscopic view of contemporary soccer: David Goldblatt reveals its political implications, Sid Lowe focuses on an epic rivalry, Simon Kuper scrutinizes its economic dimensions, and Jonathan Wilson sheds light on the evolution of soccer tactics. Meanwhile, Galeano lays bare the game's timeless poetry.

—David Golblatt's Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil Through Soccer was praised as "magisterial" by The New Republic, “gripping” by The Telegraph and “engrossing” by The Economist. Futebol Nation has been similarly lauded by reviews in The Guardian and the Independent. Goldblatt, a recognized soccer expert, was mentioned in a plethora of articles, including The New York Times and LA Times. Omnipresent in discussions on the politics or sociology of soccer, Goldblatt has been interviewed by numerous outlets, notably the LARB, CBC Radio and Social Science Space, while his list of the most political matches of history has appeared in Pacific Standard. Goldblatt has been writing about the World Cup prolifically for FusionSoccer, Al Jazeera America, Monocle, Howler and The Boston Globe. Excerpts of Futebol Nation were published in Slate

—Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski's World Cup version of Soccernomics, named one of the "Best Books of the Year" by numerous publications and "a seminal book" by the New York Times, was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "the most intelligent book ever written about soccer." Whether in analyzing the World Cup in an interview for Pacific Standard or in analyzing football fandom in the Financial Times, Kuper has shown to be indispensable to understanding soccer today. Kuper is currently covering the World Cup for the Financial Times.

—Eduardo Galeano's Soccer in Sun and Shadow, one of the "Top 100 Sports Books of All Time" according to Sports Illustrated has been praised extensively for its poetic beauty. Galeano was deemed "the Pelé of [soccer] writing" by the Guardian and hailed as a "great prose artist" by The Nation. Dave Zirin calls Soccer in Sun and Shadow "the most lyrical sports book ever written" while the Wall Street Journal described it as "a poetically cockeyed love letter" that "def[ies] categorization." Read excerpts on

Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson, one of NSC's Football Book of the Year in 2009, was recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal and quoted in NY Mag. Wilson is writing on the World Cup for Fox, the Guardian, Sports Illustrated and The Paris Review

—Sid Lowe's history of the age-old rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, Fear and Loathing in La Liga, was listed by the Sunday Times as one of its "Sports Book of the Year". Shelf Awareness just deemed it one of its Great Soccer Books: World Cup notwithstanding, "it's the perfect time to read this book". Lowe has been covering the games for ESPN.


Tags: brazil, galeano, nation books, simon kuper, soccer, world cup

    • Hélène Barthélemy
    • Hélène Barthélemy graduated from Columbia University in May 2013, where she majored in Philosophy and Middle Eastern Studies. She is the Summer 2014 intern for Nation Books and is based in New York.


    • Hélène Barthélemy's full bio »

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