A well-known scholar and lifelong soccer fan tells what the game has meant for him
Long Distance Love
A Passion for Football
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Grant Farred is a lifelong soccer fan. He has been rooting for one team-Liverpool (England) Football Club-since he was a child. Long Distance Love explains how "football" opened up the world to a young boy growing up disenfranchised in apartheid South Africa. For Farred, being a soccer fan enabled him to establish connections with events and people throughout history and from around the globe: from the Spanish Civil War to the atrocities of the Argentine dictatorship of the 1970s and 80s; from the experience of racism under apartheid to the experience of watching his beloved Liverpool team play on English soil.
Farred shows that issues like race, politics, and war are critical to understanding a sport, especially soccer. And he writes beautifully, with candor and lyricism. Long Distance Love does for football what C.L.R. James's Beyond a Boundary did for cricket: it provides poetry and politics in equal measure, along with insights on every page.
"[R]emarkable...In delightfully exuberant prose, Farred recounts a passion that, for him, borders on religion.... Long Distance Love is a playful — yet no less brilliant — work of political theory; its contribution to political thought comes from making such hopeful statements without compromising the immoderate passions that sports fandom indulge."
In the series
Sporting, edited by Amy Bass.
As an international cultural activity for athleticism, spectatorship, and global cultural exchange, sport is unmatched by any other force on earth. And yet it remains a consistently understudied dimension of history and cultural studies. Sporting, edited by Amy Bass, aims to contribute to the study of sport by publishing works by people across a range of disciplines, by professional sportswriters, and by athletes to add substance to our still emerging notion of globalization.