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Behind the Curtain: Football in Eastern Europe (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Wilson
5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

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'A blissful book, lovingly and stylishly written' -- Edward Pearce DAILY TELEGRAPH 'This fascinating and perceptive travelogue includes a fine collection of anecdotes too colourful for fiction' SUNDAY TIMES '[a] terrifc book' -- Henry Winter DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Epic... Wilson writes captivatingly with humour...anyone with an interest in eastern European sport will be consulting this book for years to come.' -- David Winner FINANCIAL TIMES 'Football is centred squarely within a fascinating socio-political context... There is plenty of humour too' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Compelling... he [Wilson] succeeds in going well beyond the lurid headlines, skilfully interweaving his own travel notes with forays into politics, culture and history.' FOUR FOUR TWO 'There's everything you needed to know about football and plenty that you didn't... wittily observed travel writing.' WHEN SATURDAY COMES 'In this part-travelogue, part history Jonathan Wilson captures the contemporary chaos of the region drawing in figures as diverse and noteworthy as Hungary's 1950s star Ferenc Puskas and Arkan, the murderous Serbian paramilitary.' OBSERVER SPORTS MONTHLY 'Wilson knows an immense amount about eastern European football and has crammed a lot into 300 pages. He writes well and has a lot of good stories' -- Josh Lacey GUARDIAN '[an] intriguing, entertaining history-cum-sports travelogue. ****' METRO 'Jonathan Wilson brilliantly plugs the gaps in our knowledge...an observant and witty guide to life in Eastern Europe.' WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY 'His lively prose captures the chaos of a region in the grip of racism, violence and organised crime, whilst retaining a warm affection for the people.' EVENING HERALD (Ireland) 'As absorbing as any post-war spy thriller' SUNDAY LIFE (Northern Ireland) 'Engrossing and funny travelogue-cum-social history.' GLASGOW EVENING TIMES 'Absorbing... Wilson is adept at using football as a microcosm of the post-Communist East as he reveals how totalitarian regimes have given way to Mafia control and curruption.' BRIGHTON EVENING ARGUS 'Pitched somewhere between Bill Bryson and John Le Carre, Wilson's narrative twists from neon-lit boom town of Donetsk to the crumbling splendour of Budapest's Bozsik Stadium... Wilson has a novelist's eye for detail and suspense' WESTERN DAILY MAIL


From the war-ravaged streets of Sarajevo, where turning up for training involved dodging snipers' bullets, to the crumbling splendour of Budapest's Bozsik Stadium, where the likes of Puskás and Kocsis masterminded the fall of England, the landscape of Eastern Europe has changed immeasurably since the fall of communism. Jonathan Wilson has travelled extensively behind the old Iron Curtain, viewing life beyond the fall of the Berlin Wall through the lens of football.

Where once the state-controlled teams of the Eastern bloc passed their way with crisp efficiency - a sort of communist version of total football - to considerable success on the European and international stages, today the beautiful game in the East has been opened up to the free market, and throughout the region a sense of chaos pervades. The threat of totalitarian interference no longer remains; but in its place mafia control is generally accompanied with a crippling lack of funds.

In BEHIND THE CURTAIN Jonathan Wilson goes in search of the spirit of Hungary's 'Golden Squad' of the early fifties, charts the disintegration of the footballing superpower that was the former Yugoslavia, follows a sorry tale of corruption, mismanagement and Armenian cognac through the Caucasuses, reopens the case of Russia's greatest footballer, Eduard Streltsov, and talks to Jan Tomaszewski about an autumn night at Wembley in 1973...


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 4011 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 356 Seiten
  • Verlag: Orion; Auflage: New Ed (9. April 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B007RG74YU
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #212.491 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Best ! 30. Oktober 2011
I can only say, this is one of the best service I have ever received. Wonderful ! The price is very modest, and the book is in very good form. Totally worth your money.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  12 Rezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen lifts the curtain 27. September 2009
Von Brian Maitland - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Simply a superb soccer book. It's not just the "big" nations that the author looks at nor are they the most interesting. By delving into such places as Bosnia-Hercegovina, Armenia, Azerbaijin as well as the big boys of Russia, Croatia and Romania we get a truly complete picture on the state of the game both from a historical perspective but with a firm eye on the present and future.

It's so enjoyable to learn a nugget like the "Russian" linesman Tofik Bakhramov who confirmed that England's third goal in the 1966 World Cup Final did cross the line has the national stadium named after him in his native Azerbaijan. The book is filled with these and they are not just thrown in as trivia asides but are investigated and explained in entertaining details.

Here's hoping author Jonathan Wilson is working on a followup as this subject has so many more stories I'm sure to tell even as thorough a job as he did on this one.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent 25. Februar 2011
Von Alex McCoy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This book is yet another of the great works by J. Wilson. It is definately not a mass-public book, but the soccer fan who likes to read about soccer in different parts of the world will be well-rewarded. Some of the countries he discusses are so different than what we think of when we think of European football that it is a real culture shock. However, the book makes you actually want to take and interest in Eastern European football, or to even see a game from the earth enbanked and rail-road ties recycled seats in some really, really poor places. An enjoyable read from a master of the genre.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Best soccer book I've ever read 20. November 2011
Von Steven E. Brown - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is my favorite soccer book I've read. Part travelogue, part history and politics, and part sport, in 'Behind the Curtain' Jonathan Wilson travels through Eastern Europe and explores the people, the cultures, and the problems via the lens of football. Whether he is sharing a drink with former guerrillas in Belgrade, or traveling the back roads of Armenia, Wilson's book is enthralling and I couldn't put it down.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Jonathan Wilson - Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football 19. März 2009
Von Kerem Gokmen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football

For those who want to know the history behind Balkan & Russian football this is a must read. Every region in Europe needs a book of this nature, though with the rich history of the likes of Hungary & Ukraine this is a read of another level.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Back to the USSR 29. Juli 2013
Von Charlie Bartel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
There is an exciting new generation of Football writers. Men like Gabe Marcotti, Simon Kuiper, and JONATHAN WILSON. WISON wrote THE definitve book on the history of Football Tactics called INVERTING THE PYRAMID. In this book WILSON introduces you to 3 Russian coaches, BORIS ARKADIEV, VICTOR MASLOW, and VALERI LOBANOVSKY for their groundbreaking theories about how Football should be played. At once WILSON was teaching more about Russian/Soviet Football than I had ever known. But where did the knowledge come from?

In BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN, WILSON reveals that his English family used to vacation behind the old Iron Curtain (why?). And those holidays opened WILSON"S eyes to the different ways Football was being played. He also made contacts enabling him to travel relatively freely from country to country behind the "curtain." This became the background of BEHIND THE CURTAIN.

WILSON takes the reader on a travelogue of the crumbling Soviet Empire. Where there was once glitter and propaganda, after the fall of the wall there is now decay and dis-illusionment. And the football of the region did not escape the rot. Consider Hungary. Unbeaten from 1950 through the Championship match of the 1954 World Cup, and then another long unbeaten run until the Soviet invasion in 1956. Some of the game's greatest players like Nandor Hidegutki, Josef Boszik, Sandor Kocsis, and the incomparable Ferenc Puskas were Hungarian stars. They were The Aranyscsapat (The Golden Team). But when the players scattered across Europe the gold lost it's luster and Hungarian football decayed even faster than the county's infrastructure.

Or take the case of Russia's Edouard Steltsov. At 17 he appeared on the horizon as the game's next great superstar (like another 17 year old, Pele). But Streltsov's career is derailed by a trumped up rape conviction and he spends 12 years in a Gulag robbing him of a chance to be one of the greats, and potentially robbing the USSR of a World Cup trophy in 1962 or 1966. He was that good. But we would never know.

Today these once proud footballers are myths from the past, if they are remembered at all. Wilson combines vivid descriptions of what life is like today and mixes them with stories of past football greatness that is no more. You don't have to come from Eastern Europe. Just come with an interest in Football and your tour-guide JONATHAN WILSON will entertain you, teach you, and break you heart along the way.

Read this book.
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