My first time… reading Bill Buford's soccer hooliganism classic Among the Thugs

The best sports books are about far more than whatever game is the focus and can appeal to readers with absolutely no interest in athletics as much as they appeal to hardcore fans and historians.

The Boys of Summer is ostensibly about the Brooklyn Dodgers of the mid-1950s, but it’s really about community, fame and aging. Friday Night Lights is purportedly about high school football, but it’s really about class and small-town America. Levels of the Game is professedly about one Arthur Ashe tennis match, but it’s really about race, politics and the divisions in the country in the late 1960s.

Bill Buford’s Among

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