Joshua Nadel's Fútbol! is an engaging history of Latin America's most prevalent sport that adds to our understanding of nationalism and imagined communities. Latin Americans adopted the British-born game in the late nineteenth century, and its rapid spread made it a powerful medium for constructing national narratives. Nadel explains how and why fútbol could promote unity while also excluding large groups of people who didn't fit into particular national narratives of progress and modernization. The book argues for soccer's relevance in understanding Latin America and captures the game's drama, joy, and despair through vignettes of famous players and matches. Drawing on press accounts and the rapidly expanding historiography on soccer produced by Latin American academics and journalists, the book focuses on the footballing histories of the seven Latin American nations who played in the 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World...
Alex Galarza; Fútbol! Why Soccer Matters in Latin America. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 2017; 97 (1): 181–183. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-3727767
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