The American-born editor of the British literary magazine Granta presents a horrifying, searing account of the young British men who turn soccer matches at. Buy Among The Thugs New Ed by Bill Buford (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. They have names like Barmy Bernie, Daft Donald, and Steamin’ Sammy. They like lager (in huge quantities), the Queen, football clubs (especially Manchester.

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Buford though fails to find any true political conviction in the violence of the crowd, and settles on a sort of mass abnegation. Buford observes that in England, it is just not done for members of the literati to talk about the working class, and so no one will admit that the true “English working class” has vanished. This article needs additional citations for verification. So too does the pack mentality govern the actions of the adults.

Among the Thhe stands next The Hell’s Angels as an unflinching look at a violent male subculture, in this case the classic English football hooligan of the s.

Home News Sport Business. The scene that sums up what is wrong with what Buford puts forward comes near the end of the middle portion of the book. He starts as an outsider, an American living in London for many years without ever attending a soccer game.

For me, this comes after a six month fascination with soccer violence. I don’t think this is a book where we’re meant to revel in the violence.

Among the Thugs by Bill Buford

I just missed the worst of English football violence. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Buford decided to investigate “them. This theme, at the top of this section, deals with Buford and his inability to understand violence outside of the tuhgs of the lower classes. One of many American moments of crowd violence that appeared well before the publication does not appear: The violence is so over-the-top.


It helped thugw, despite my knowledge albeit somewhat limited of the history of English football, to broach the phenomenon of the English soccer hooligan. A picket line is precisely itself: Specifically, it is a police riot.

Jacob, to whom I have already lent it. It suffers because it is really two books, an up-close and personal account of soccer hooliganism and an examination of crowds and crowd violence. But Buford really makes it work, as he seamlessly and realistically combines an interesting, compelling story with his spot-on insights into the English working class.

Buford’s first topic is the crowd itself, human individuality compressed into the herd, submerged in the crush, the chanting, the mass of movements. To ask other readers questions about Among the Thugsplease sign up. This was a mouth that had suffered many slings and arrows along with the occasional thrashing and several hundredweight of tobacco and Cadbury’s milk chocolate.

They hit everybody, up and down the line. Dec 01, Nathaniel rated thus liked it Shelves: When they riot, they riot against everything and everyone: It was, however, an easy one, and it consisted in this: Ghe he finds himself pushing and cursing at old couples in his way on the street, having his head slammed against a metal pole by a neo-Nazi skinhead and being beaten horrifically by the Italian police during a soccer riot in Sardinia—where the English fans, as is often their wont, make it their goal to own whatever piece of foreign property they occupy.

In discussing this issue with a friend, we both expressed surprise. Bill Buford is living the good life. More summaries and resources for teaching or studying Among the Thugs. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Among the Thugs by Bill Buford | : Books

Nov 30, Ernie Dixon rated it really liked it. Most of all, it’s about the crowd as its own being that subsumes individuals. A parade, a protest, a procession: Buford falters many times and a large portion of his falters are the sanctioning of state terror and violence.


Bufrd descriptions of the people and the violence are spot on. Their income now puts them in the middle class, and the awkwardness of this shift has left them disaffected, in need of the jolts of adrenaline that rioting produces.

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Among the Thugs

He isn’t self-aggrandizing at all, anywhere – if anything he represents himself as somewhat cowardly, doubtful, and confused by his own motivations before deciding entirely that the scene isn’t worth the trouble, and greater insights aren’t to be had by spending further time in it. He’s also very sincere with himself and his subjects.

But like a car accident, you just can’t look away. This is in the streets around the stadium. Who is Buford to say this is socially deviant behavior, especially when so much of the population is engaging in it, when the behavior is made extreme by the authorities whom he so praises and lauds?

It shook the whole amnog. These are normal, working people who seem to leave the confines of civilized behavior on a weekly basis as if they were just stepping out for air. The football authorities drew up new rules for every stadium in Britain: But I’ve been among amohg crowds on matchday and there is something electric about them. What he depicts as an idle curiosity about a strange feature of English culture, much sensationalized by the press, became a multiyear sociological study.