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In the informative, entertaining, and generously illustrated Spartak Moscow, a book that will be cheered by soccer fans worldwide, Robert Edelman finds in the stands and on the pitch keys to understanding everyday life under Stalin, Khrushchev, and their successors. Millions attended matches and obsessed about their favorite club, and their rowdiness on game day stood out as a moment of relative freedom in a society that championed conformity. This was particularly the case for the supporters of Spartak, which emerged from the rough proletarian Presnia district of Moscow and spent much of its history in fierce rivalry with Dinamo, the team of the secret police. To cheer for Spartak, Edelman shows, was a small and safe way of saying "no" to the fears and absurdities of high Stalinism; to understand Spartak is to understand how soccer explains Soviet life. Champions of the Soviet Elite League twelve times and eleven-time winner of the USSR Cup, Spartak was founded and led for seven decades by the four Starostin brothers, the most visible of whom were Nikolai and Andrei. Brilliant players turned skilled entrepreneurs, they were flexible enough to constantly change their business model to accommodate the dramatic shifts in Soviet policy. Whether because of their own financial wheeling and dealing or Spartak's too frequent success against state-sponsored teams, they were arrested in 1942 and spent twelve years in the gulag. Instead of facing hard labor and likely death, they were spared the harshness of their places of exile when they were asked by local camp commandants to coach the prisoners' football teams. Returning from the camps after Stalin's death, they took back the reins of a club whose mystique as the "people's team" was only enhanced by its status as a victim of Stalinist tyranny. Edelman covers the team from its days on the wild fields of prerevolutionary Russia through the post-Soviet period. Given its history, it was hardly surprising that Spartak adjusted quickly to the new, capitalist world of postsocialist Russia, going on to win the championship of the Russian Premier League nine times, the Russian Cup three times, and the CIS Commonwealth of Independent States Cup six times. In addition to providing a fresh and authoritative history of Soviet society as seen through its obsession with the world's most popular sport, Edelman, a well-known sports commentator, also provides biographies of Spartak's leading players over the course of a century and riveting play-by-play accounts of Spartak's most important matches-including such highlights as the day in 1989 when Spartak last won the Soviet Elite League on a Valery Shmarov free kick at the ninety-second minute. Throughout, he palpably evokes what it was like to cheer for the "Red and White."
In this book, conceived and written for the general reader as well as the specialist, Robert Edelman uses a case study of peasant behavior during a particular revolutionary situation to make an important contribution to one of the major debates in contemporary peasant studies. Edelman's subject is the peasantry of the right-bank Ukraine, and he uses local and regional archives seldom available to Western scholars to give a detailed picture of the ways in which the inhabitants of one of Russia’s most advanced agrarian regions expressed their discontent during the years 1905–1907. By the 1890s, the landlords of Russia’s Southwest had organized a highly successful capitalist form of agriculture, and Edelman demonstrates that their peasants responded to these dramatic economic changes by adopting many of the forms of political and social behavior generally associated with urban proletarians.
Orwell was wrong. Sports are not "war without the shooting", nor are they "war by other means." To be sure sports have generated animosity throughout human history, but they also require rules to which the participants agree to abide before the contest. Among other things, those rules are supposed to limit violence, even death. More than anything else, sports have been a significant part of a historical "civilizing process." They are the opposite of war. As the historical profession has taken its cultural turn over the last few decades, scholars have turned their attention to subject once seen as marginal. As researchers have come to understand the centrality of the human body in human history, they have come to study this most corporeal of human activities. Taking early cues from physical educators and kinesiologists, historians have been exploring sports in all their forms in order to help us answer the most fundamental questions to which scholars have devoted their lives. We have now seen a veritable explosion excellent work on this subject, just as sports have assumed an even greater share of a globalizing world's cultural, political and economic space. Practiced by millions and watched by billions, sports provide an enormous share of content on the Internet. This volume combines the efforts of sports historians with essays by historians whose careers have been devoted to more traditional topics. We want to show how sports have evolved from ancient societies to the world we inhabit today. Our goal is to introduce those from outside this sub-field to this burgeoning body of scholarship. At the same time, we hope here to show those who may want to study sport with rigor and nuance how to embark on a rewarding journey and tackle profound matters that have affected and will affect all of humankind.
The true and remarkable story of the English double agent who ended up playing for Spartak Moscow.
Sport in East Germany is commonly associated with the systematic doping that helped to make the country an Olympic superpower. Football played little part in this controversial story. Yet, as a hugely popular activity that was deeply entwined in the social fabric, it exerted an influence that few institutions or pursuits could match. The People's Game examines the history of football from the interrelated perspectives of star players, fans, and ordinary citizens who played for fun. Using archival sources and interviews, it reveals football's fluid role in preserving and challenging communist hegemony. By repeatedly emphasising that GDR football was part of an international story, for example, through analysis of the 1974 World Cup finals, Alan McDougall shows how sport transcended the Iron Curtain. Through a study of the mass protests against the Stasi team, BFC, during the 1980s, he reveals football's role in foreshadowing the downfall of communism.
Is the face of American baseball throughout the world that of goodwill ambassador or ugly American? Has baseball crafted its own image or instead been at the mercy of broader forces shaping our society and the globe? The Empire Strikes Out gives us the sweeping story of how baseball and America are intertwined in the export of “the American way.” From the Civil War to George W. Bush and the Iraq War, we see baseball’s role in developing the American empire, first at home and then beyond our shores. And from Albert Spalding and baseball’s first World Tour to Bud Selig and the World Baseball Classic, we witness the globalization of America’s national pastime and baseball’s role in spreading the American dream. Besides describing baseball’s frequent and often surprising connections to America’s presence around the world, Elias assesses the effects of this relationship both on our foreign policies and on the sport itself and asks whether baseball can play a positive role or rather only reinforce America’s dominance around the globe. Like Franklin Foer in How Soccer Explains the World, Elias is driven by compelling stories, unusual events, and unique individuals. His seamless integration of original research and compelling analysis makes this a baseball book that’s about more than just sports.
Orwell was wrong. Sports are not "war without the shooting," nor are they "war by other means." To be sure sports have generated animosity throughout human history, but they also require rules to which the participants agree to abide before the contest. Among other things, those rules are supposed to limit violence, even death. More than anything else, sports have been a significant part of a historical "civilizing process." They are the opposite of war. As the historical profession has taken its cultural turn over the last few decades, scholars have turned their attention to subject once seen as marginal. As researchers have come to understand the centrality of the human body in human history, they have come to study this most corporeal of human activities. Taking early cues from physical educators and kinesiologists, historians have been exploring sports in all their forms in order to help us answer the most fundamental questions to which scholars have devoted their lives. We have now seen a veritable explosion excellent work on this subject, just as sports have assumed an even greater share of a globalizing world's cultural, political and economic space. Practiced by millions and watched by billions, sports provide an enormous share of content on the Internet. This volume combines the efforts of sports historians with essays by historians whose careers have been devoted to more traditional topics. We want to show how sports have evolved from ancient societies to the world we inhabit today. Our goal is to introduce those from outside this sub-field to this burgeoning body of scholarship. At the same time, we hope here to show those who may want to study sport with rigor and nuance how to embark on a rewarding journey and tackle profound matters that have affected and will affect all of humankind.

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