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Passion of the People?: Football in Latin America

Saturday 23/June/2018 - 10:51 AM
Book cover
Book cover
Edited by: Yara Sameh

Brazil’s victory in the 1994 World Cup is the latest chapter in an extensive history of the world’s most popular game in South America. In this engaging account, Tony Mason reviews the place of football in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

Mason opens with soccer’s rise at the turn of the century amid the exploding urbanization of Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo. He demonstrates that, from its beginnings, the game had wide popular appeal and examines the role of British commercial and military interests as well as that of newcomers from Italy, Spain and Portugal.

From the moment when Uruguay won the Olympic football tournament in 1924 to Argentina’s bizarre appearance in the World Cup final of 1990, international success on the pitch brought with it prestige and influence abroad. At home, Mason shows how dictators used football to ensure political passivity. He concludes by asking if the attention focused on football in Latin America today is exaggerated or whether the game truly is the “passion of the people.”

Series: Critical Studies in Latin American Culture
Author: Tony Mason
Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: Verso (May 17, 1995)
Language: English
Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches


About the Author
Tony Mason’s social history of football in England, Association Football and English Society, was a pioneering work. He is the author of Sport in Britain and has edited a collection of essays, Sport in Britain: A Social History.

Editorial Reviews
“No other book has taken an overview of soccer and politics in Latin America as a whole. Academics, politicians, fans, take note: keep it handy at every World Cup.”—Andrew Graham-Yoll, Buenos Aires Herald

“Tony Mason plays fulsome tribute to the history of South American football, and in terms of passion for the game he reveals that Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay leave the British trailing well behind.”—Alan Green, BBC Radio Sport

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