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Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto
 
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Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto [Format Kindle]

Steve Almond

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“Almond is dead serious: Supporting a spectacle that causes brain damage is immoral."
New York Times Book Review

“[Almond] is a very good writer, and his analysis of problems confronting the game today is well done."
Washington Post

“Almond is a shifty cornerback of a writer: rangy, sarcastic, offbeat. And every once in a while, he’ll blindside you with a big hit."
New York Times 

“An unapologetic, frontal assault on the game's role in American culture."
Los Angeles Times 

“Steve Almond's blistering book Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto is exactly what it advertises itself to be: an exasperated, frustrated, wide-ranging argument that the time has come to abandon football — particularly but not exclusively the NFL — as a sport built on violence, racism, economic exploitation of poor kids, corrupt dealmaking with local governments over stadiums, and a willingness to find it entertaining to watch people suffer brain damage."
Linda Holmes, NPR

“A devastating multi-pronged attack."
Newsweek 

“Powerful... Almond is a sympathetic narrator, his evidence incontrovertible, the moral authority firmly on his side."
Harper's Magazine

“A passionate and elegantly written book that finally overpowered any rationalization I could come up with to justify watching more football."
New York Times, Dealbook

“A helpful and thoughtful read that traces the criticisms of the game and the men who run it."
Bitch Magazine

“In Steve Almond’s Against Football, a book filled with 'obnoxious opinions' by the writer’s own admittance—and they’re not that bad—Almond makes a case for the fact that football, and the NFL specifically, is at the root of a toxic, pernicious, deadly and deadening culture in America. The book came out on August 26th, and it’s taken a mere two weeks for Almond to be proven right on a national scale, in the ugliest of fashions."
Flavorwire

Against Football is a book that kicks and prods and fights with itself and ourselves. Almond is asking himself and us to drop the ironic distance, open our eyes, and truly look at the dangerous, vile, beautiful, fun, highly corrupted, and horrifically corrupting corporate behemoth we spend so much of our money and leisure time enraptured by, and know what it is that we are doing, and what we are supporting."
The Millions

“[Almond's] persuasive book dares fans to consider how long they can continue to ignore football’s obvious flaws in order to preserve their weekend ritual."
Barron's

“Almond doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but sometimes it’s enough to raise the right questions at the right time. Against Football does that with disarming humor and humanity."
National Memo

“What a perfect chance to take a breath, look around, and push the endeavor in a better direction."
Open Letters Monthly

“This book is an important first step towards a more compassionate and educated discourse on what is, unfortunately, a game many of us are entertained by and deeply invested in."
AskMen.com, Recommended Reading for September

Against Football...makes a strong case that football, as presently practiced by the NFL and NCAA, should be reformed or abolished."
Oregonian

“[Against Football] brilliantly states the case for radical change to save the sport."
Albany Times-Union

“A book that’s part journalism, part memoir, part cultural harpooning."
Kansas City Star, FYI Book Club selection

Against Football is clearly the pick of the litter: funny, pained, profane and sharp as a November Saturday in Ann Arbor."
Tampa Bay Times

“Almond covers all of the arguments against football...He has sworn off the game. Will anyone join him? As he notes, boxing was once this country’s top sport."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Pitch-perfect… Against Football is, at bottom, a love letter from a heartbroken fan, notable for his eloquence and clarity. It’s easy to imagine that this pungent critique, with quotable passages on nearly every page, could be a much-needed game-changer. If that’s overly optimistic, then we’ll have to settle for a first-rate piece of journalism and a great read."
Portland Press Herald

“Almond's book is slim but potent... Almond makes his case in a style that is conversational, self-deprecating, sharp and often laugh-out-loud funny."
Plain Dealer

“There are no easy answers found in Almond’s book—and it’s an intentionally provocative argument being made, obviously—but what it surely does is get you to think about what you’re doing on Sundays, what you’re paying to watch and how we could possibly let children play the game."
Las Vegas Weekly

“It's an indictment, a self-excoriation, and a provocative analysis of why so many Americans are hooked on this organized violence."
Tampa Bay Times

“Almond makes it impossible for us to ignore our willing participation in this corrupt and destructive pastime... Against Football is one fan’s inflammatory, yet indispensable, voice in the current conversation about the state of football in America."
Brooklyn Rail

“If you want to continue to enjoy watching football as you have in the past...you should particularly never read Steve Almond’s Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto.”
Utah Daily Herald

“As a gesture of respect to a genuine 'critical eye', I am donating my copy of Almond’s remarkable book to the Cascade Public Library, so anyone can witness a moral person making a painful, moral decision."
Cascade Pioneer (Iowa)

“As coiled and sharp as a scorpion’s tail... A top-notch interrogation."
Electric Literature

“Almond (a New York Times bestselling author and lifelong Raiders fan) writes beautifully and thought-provokingly about his decision to give up watching a game he loves because of all the bad stuff that goes along with it."
Made Man

“Almond’s book is a tremendous read, as all of his work is, but more than that, it’s an important one, and one that leaves you slightly queasy the next time you set your fantasy football roster."
Pop Culture Beast

Nonfiction November Picks, Entomology of a Bookworm

A Publishers Weekly Book of the Week

“A welcome addition to the conversation."
Shelf Awareness

“Many fans of football will react to this book with derision, and many non-fans will consider his points self-evident: both are wrong. These are arguments that deserve to be considered deeply and grappled with, and teens—who have not yet devoted their lives or opinions to or against the sport—are in a perfect position to take Almond’s  manifesto seriously."
School Library Journal

“Those who don't care for the U.S.'s favorite fall sport might be inclined to pick up Steve Almond's Against Football, looking for validation of their position. Those who love the sport may be drawn in by its subtitle, One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto, for similar reasons. Almond's power lies in his ability to speak to both readers."
Shelf Awareness

“A brilliantly quotable, carefully constructed, emotionally vulnerable tract sure to anger as many as it convinces, he argues against the sport’s many sins even as he thoughtfully examines its hold on the souls of the faithful."
Booklist, starred review

“A provocative, thoughtful examination of an ’astonishingly brutal’ sport… Comic, compassionate and thought-provoking.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Powerful… Almond is drawing on his own experiences as a fan to illustrate how difficult the problem, which provides the book with an engaging personal angle that will lure readers who are mature enough to hear him out whether they agree with his conclusions… An important read, even if as Almond concedes, it offers more questions than answers.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Steve Almond’s Candy Freak:

“This book will, yes, make you hungry, but it will also make you grateful-for wit, for self-effacing humor, for joyful obsessiveness, for the precise and loving use of language to crack open and celebrate our oddness-in short, for a writer as funny and big-hearted as Steve Almond.”
George Saunders

“I got a real sugar rush and cluster headache reading this bittersweet book by Steve Almond-joy, the sugar daddy himself.”
Amy Sedaris

Présentation de l'éditeur

A New York Times Best Seller

“Powerful...an important read."Publishers Weekly

New York Times
bestselling author Steve Almond takes on America’s biggest sacred cow: football


In Against Football, Steve Almond details why, after forty years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he still loves. Using a synthesis of memoir, reportage, and cultural critique, Almond asks a series of provocative questions:

• Does our addiction to football foster a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia?
• What does it mean that our society has transmuted the intuitive physical joys of childhood—run, leap, throw, tackle—into a billion-dollar industry?
• How did a sport that causes brain damage become such an important emblem for our institutions of higher learning?

There has never been a book that exposes the dark underside of America’s favorite game with such searing candor.


From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1358 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 194 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 161219415X
  • Editeur : Melville House (26 août 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00IW4DOWM
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
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Commentaires en ligne

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  56 commentaires
29 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A powerful manifesto — but could be deeper 12 septembre 2014
Par C.B.E. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Reading this book can serve as something of a litmus test. I've seen no critic — I use the term loosely — actually engage his arguments. Mostly they are flinging ad hominem non sequiturs.

Those who react strongly against it — including the many who have flamed, insulted and aggressively mocked Almond in public forums — come off looking like reflections of the flawed culture he identifies. Critics react with unthinking passion, unleashing mouthsful of pejoratives, often questioning Almond's manhood or sexuality in bemusingly "male" term. For example, suggesting he possesses female genitalia reveals an essential misogyny; suggesting he must have a "big vagina" — seriously, it's a thing among his critics — is just stupid, a transparent and reflexive attempt to overlay deeply ingrained male insecurities and obsession with size.

Make no mistake: Almond is a true fan of football, especially of — as we say in Broncos country — "the hated Raiders." But he's also a thoughtful man who sees the stark contradictions and dubious ethics of supporting our modern civic religion cum blood sport. He focuses a good deal of his manifesto — for it is that, rather than a deeper research project — on the problem of brain injuries, but he identifies other, very real issues: misogyny, hyper-machoism, militarism-jingoism, rich owners fleecing and blackmailing taxpayers, tribalism over what is really little more than (in his words), "brightly colored laundry," the obvious disconnect between a highly professionalized (though its players are unpaid!) professional football farm system being connected to institutions of higher learning, the incredible amount of time invested in passive observation, and more.

As a life-long fan — my father took me to my first college game at age 6 and I still hold those season tickets and, try as I might, I've never successfully been able to avert my gaze from the game — I find Almond's manifesto persuasive and damning. Even before I read it I had resolved to, shall we say, reduce my "using" of football this season: I'm not going to every home game for my college team and will limit watching football on TV. I have always loved watching the game, but I intend to learn how else I might spend that time.

This is four stars rather than five because I think Almond would have better served his purpose by investing more effort and turning it from manifesto into a more substantive, documented piece of research.
18 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 like skiing, which I once pursued avidly) 20 septembre 2014
Par David A. Grandy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Disturbing book. I played football in high school and got caught in the frenzy as a spectator while attending college. But after getting married and taking on family responsibilities I mostly lost interest in football (and other sports, like skiing, which I once pursued avidly), only occasionally watching games on TV and reading the sports section in the newspaper. Now I'm in my 60s and work out three or four times a week at a university gym. In the locker room I listen to highly accomplished, highly educated men talking football, reliving games, and second-guessing coaches. I've often wondered who is the oddball--me or them. I guess I am, since I'm clearly in the minority, but I thought football, along with sports in general, was for most people a youthful interest that waned as the bigger issues of life came into view. Roger Bannister rejected the sports metaphor of life by saying that it was much harder to navigate the demands of one's profession and family commitments than run a mile in less than four minutes. This book opened my eyes as to why so many people can't seem to get past football, even when they know that it really doesn't count for much and is so destructive on many levels.
13 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thought provoking 2 octobre 2014
Par Kenneth Heard - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I am of the demographic at which Steve Almond is aiming his book. I love football, both college and pro. I cannot sit in front of a television for 30 minutes to watch a sitcom, yet can devote 9 hours watching pre game talk, the contests and then postgame stuff each weekend. I love football.

That said, Almond's book has done a remarkable thing: It made me think. And, despite my obsession with the sport, if I had a child, I'd probably not let him play football. The physical damages are too damning.

I think Almond covers the bases (sports metaphor) well. There is the concussion debate, the entitlement college and pro players feel they deserve and the big money of the league - along with being tax exempt (that status came in 1966 when the NFL agreed not to schedule games on Friday and Saturday to clash with high school and college games, but aren't there Saturday NFL games at times?)

The NFL is a snake that devours itself. Players are bigger and faster; collisions are more violent. Fans want to see that kind of action and their support perpetuates the growth and speed. Almond said it perfectly when he wrote that we're not necessarily rooting for our team, in reality, we're rooting for ourselves.

In defense of football, though, players on the pro level know what they are getting into. They are paid well for their skills, although the average NFL career is only 3 or so years. Football is dangerous. They understand that and have a choice to play. Fire fighting is a dangerous career, but there is no attempt to boycott fire departments. That may be a dumb comparison in light of the importance of both jobs, but those working in both fields have choices to seek other employment if they want.

Some of Almond's suggestions are far-fetched: Require a weight limit for football players? Sounds good. He advocates eliminating the possibility of strokes, heart attacks and other health issues suffered by obesity. But, obviously, that won't happen. In this litigation happy society, some guy who weighs more than the limit will prove he is healthy enough for football and sue for admittance. Graduation rates as part of the college teams' ranking? No way that will happen. Johnny can't read, but he can throw a football. That's all that matters. There's way too much money in the sport to begin placing restrictions such as those on football.

Almond has written an interesting book that I hope gains attention. The recent issues of domestic violence had probably shone some light on Almond's book.

Like I said, I am obsessed with football, and most sports, but Against Football really, really made me think and made me take a look at what I obsess so much over.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A sobering read 16 septembre 2014
Par Jane Rochester - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
His book raises very difficult and challenging questions, questions I have been struggling with since the issue of traumatic brain injury has come to the forefront. The author makes a very compelling case for stepping away as fans and not allowing ourselves to be complicit while men play this extremely dangerous sport for our entertainment. I hope his book reaches many fans and the NFL and that we see a new and safer age for football.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Timely, knowledgeable and thought-provoking 1 octobre 2014
Par M. Drudzinski - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I've read and enjoyed Steve Almond's short stories and essays. He writes in a very accessible style -- intelligent, thought-provoking and often funny without being pretentious. He reveals his own stake in the issues on which he concentrates, which gives his works intellectual and emotional authenticity. The same holds true for Against Football.

In his latest book, he confronts many ethical issues around professional football and the NFL corporate organization in particular. As a football fan who's followed the concussions stories, the domestic abuse and other criminal activities of players, the unique and arguably deplorable tax-exempt status of the NFL, stadiums being built with taxpayer money without a return on those investments for taxpayers, I wanted to see what Almond's take was.

The book delves into the history of the NFL (more than I expected, and I enjoyed this aspect a lot) and how it evolved into the behemoth it is today. I didn't agree with all of Almond's arguments, but I admire him for digging deeper into all the topics that make watching/following the sport a moral conundrum for some.

He is an ardent football fan (Oakland Raiders) from childhood, and I think this makes his arguments more compelling. He struggles with his decision to walk away from fandom and knows he'll take a ribbing from friends and fans alike, but his conscience won't allow him to simply sweep the issues aside. I love NFL football, but there are several issues that bother me about the "Sports Industrial Complex" (as Almond phrases it), so I thought this could stimulate further considerations for me.

I think NFL fans should read it, if for no other reason than it provides much food for thought and future debate about the business behind the sport. I enjoyed the book, although I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 simply because I thought it was a bit too short (194 pages). Almond does use enough examples to support his thesis, but the book is more representative of the issues rather than exhaustive in its analysis.
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