Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Soccer around the World: A Cultural Guide to the World's Favorite Sport

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Soccer around the World: A Cultural Guide to the World's Favorite Sport

Article excerpt

Soccer Around the World: A Cultural Guide to the World's Favorite Sport. By Charles Parrish and John Nauright. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2014. 400 pages. Acid free $89 (ISBN: 978-1-61069-302-8). Ebook available (978-161069-303-5), call for pricing.

Although the word "soccer" is primarily used in the United States, it actually derives from the English term "association football." Known throughout most of the rest of the world as football, the game on the pitch is often cited as the most popular sport on the planet. Going country by country, this book helps explain why and what impact that brings.

The book's 18 chapters are each devoted to a single nation. The authors openly acknowledge in the introduction that their choices may be controversial, but they have included all the traditional European football powers, plus Cameroon, Egypt, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United States, among others. The rational for some of those countries is fairly tenuous solely on athletic grounds. For example, it appears that Egypt was included because of the role that soccer plays in that volatile country's political stability.

Each chapter includes sections on "History & Culture," "Women's Soccer," "Iconic Clubs," "Soccer Legends," and "At the World Cup," as well as a sidebar of tangential interest and references for further reading. …

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