Whether Brazil’s national side wins or loses this World Cup in its backyard, one can be sure that the debate will endure...

THE COUNTRY OF FOOTBALL

SOCCER AND THE MAKING OF MODERN BRAZIL

How soccer shaped Brazil and how Brazil has shaped soccer.

As Brazil readies to host the World Cup, it also prepares for the world’s attention. Kittleson (History/Williams Coll.; The Practice of Politics in Postcolonial Brazil: Porto Allegre, 1845-1895, 2005) explores the development of soccer in Brazil and that country’s unique contributions to the world game. He also uses the game and many of its key Brazilian figures to explore the ways that soccer, society, culture, race, class, politics and nation have intersected in Brazilian history and helped to create the country. Though Brazilian fans expect to win, they also expect to do so in a particular way, a way that reflects brasilidade, Brazilianness, which in turn reflects a debate about futebol-arte (art soccer) versus futebol-força (strength soccer). The former embodies the idealized view Brazilians have of their own beautiful game, with its individual brilliance embodied in stars such as Garrincha, Pele, Ronaldo and others. The latter embodies a pragmatic, technical, European style of soccer. Central to all of these discussions is the role of race, as Afro-Brazilians are oftentimes seen as embodying futebol-arte even as Brazilian society is more riven by race than the country’s boosters acknowledge. Kittleson organizes the book chronologically, but within each chapter, he focuses on individuals who embody the period’s debates, styles of play and developments on the field. Thus, players take central stage, but so, too, do individual managers and cartolas—literally, “top hats,” but referring to the bosses who run the country’s top clubs and football infrastructure. In the process, Kittleson provides a work of both impeccable scholarship and compelling narrative.

Whether Brazil’s national side wins or loses this World Cup in its backyard, one can be sure that the debate will endure over how they won or lost and how it reflects or falls short of the ideals of brasilidade. This book provides a fine context to that debate.

Pub Date: June 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-520-27909-4

Page Count: 344

Publisher: Univ. of California

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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