Soccer vs. the State

Soccer vs. the State serves both as an orientation for the politically conscious football supporter and as an inspiration for those who try to pursue the love of the game away from television sets and big stadiums.

Soccer has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry. Professionalism and commercialization dominate its global image. Yet the game retains a rebellious side, maybe more so than any other sport co-opted by money makers and corrupt politicians. From its roots in working-class England to political protests by players and fans, and a current radical soccer underground, the notion of football as the “people’s game” has been kept alive by numerous individuals, teams, and communities. Soccer vs. the State serves both as an orientation for the politically conscious football supporter and as an inspiration for those who try to pursue the love of the game away from television sets and big stadiums, bringing it to back alleys and muddy pastures.

“Gabriel Kuhn’s Soccer vs. the State is a wondrous reminder of all the times and ways and places where football has slipped its chains and offers what it always promised: new solidarities and identities, a site of resistance, a celebration of spontaneity and play.” —David Goldblatt, author of The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer

“There is no sport that reflects the place where sports and politics collide quite like soccer. Athlete-activist Gabriel Kuhn has captured that by going to a place where other sports writers fear to tread. Here is the book that will tell you how soccer explains the world while offering means to improve it.” —Dave Zirin, author of Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love

“Gabriel Kuhn has written the programme notes for the most important match of all, The People’s Game vs. Modern Football.” —Mark Perryman, co-founder of Philosophy Football

Gabriel Kuhn was born in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1972. He was deeply immersed in soccer culture as a teenager, and became one of the country’s youngest semi-professional players. Tired of both the demands and the politics, he abandoned his career for studies, travels, and activism, but still joins pick-up games whenever he gets the chance. Gabriel has published widely on underground culture and politics, and founded the DIY publishing outfit Alpine Anarchist Productions in 2000. Previous publications with PM Press include Life Under the Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy (author, 2010), Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics (editor, 2010), and Gustav Landauer: Revolution and Other Writings (editor/translator, 2010).

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