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Jews in Football: Mediating between the Gentleman's Sport and the Professional Game

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Detlev Claussen

To mark the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Dr Daniel Wildmann and Ben Barkow have pleasure in inviting you to a special lecture organized by the Leo Baeck Institute and the Wiener Library

The conceit that football is ‘the beautiful game’ originated at a time when English gentlemen amateurs still set the tone, although they were no longer among the best players. For the early professionals of the 1920s, on the other hand, football became a lifestyle, which underpinned their whole existence. It was workers, Jews, and immigrants – people on the margins of society – who from an early stage shaped professional football both as players and managers. Why did some Jews, beginning in the 20th century – from Bela Gutmann, to Roman Abramovich to Malcolm Glazer – choose to make football a central focus of their lives and how did they influence the game in the UK and on the Continent?

Detlev Claussen is Professor for Theory of Society, Sociology of Culture and Science at Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany.  He studied with Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, was a member of the Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund, and a political commentator.  He has published several studies on violence, antisemitism, and racism and most recently the monograph A Last Genius on Theodor W. Adorno, published by Harvard University Press (2008). Other books include List der Gewalt, Grenzen der Aufklärung (forthcoming at UC Press), Was heisst Rassismus?, Aspekte der Alltagsreligion, and Béla Gutmann. Weltgeschichtes des Fussballs in einer Person (Berlin 2006).

Special Lecture to Mark the World Cup in South Africa.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010, 7pm Wiener Library