Other books byJonathan Wilson
Inverting The Pyramid
The History of Soccer Tactics
An outstanding work
the [soccer] book of the decade.” Sunday Business Post Inverting the Pyramid is a pioneering soccer book that chronicles the evolution of soccer tactics and the lives of the itinerant coaching geniuses who have spread their distinctive styles across the globe. Through Jonathan Wilson’s brilliant historical detective work we learn how the South Americans shrugged off the British colonial order to add their own finesse to the game; how the Europeans harnessed individual technique and built it into a team structure; how the game once featured five forwards up front, while now a lone striker is not uncommon. Inverting the Pyramid provides a definitive understanding of the tactical genius of modern-day Barcelona, for the first time showing how their style of play developed from Dutch Total Football,” which itself was an evolution of the Scottish passing game invented by Queens Park in the 1870s and taken on by Tottenham Hotspur in the 1930s. Inverting the Pyramid has been called the Big Daddy” (Zonal Marking) of soccer tactics books; it is essential for any coach, fan, player, or fantasy manager of the beautiful game
A Palestine Affair
In British-occupied Palestine after World War I, Mark Bloomberg, a beleaguered London painter, and Joyce, his American wife, witness the murder of a prominent Orthodox Jew. Joyce, a non-Jew and ardent Zionist, is drawn into an affair with the British investigating officer, while Mark seeks solace in the exotic colors and contours of the Middle Eastern landscape. Each of the three has come to Palestine to escape grief, and yet—caught in the crosshairs of history—they will all be forced to confront the very issues they hoped to leave behind in this swift and sensuous novel of artful concealment and roiling passions. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Part of the Jewish Encounter series Novelist and critic Jonathan Wilson clears away the sentimental mists surrounding an artist whose career spanned two world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Holocaust, and the birth of the State of Israel. Marc Chagall’s work addresses these transforming events, but his ambivalence about his role as a Jewish artist adds an intriguing wrinkle to common assumptions about his life. Drawn to sacred subject matter, Chagall remains defiantly secular in outlook; determined to “narrate” the miraculous and tragic events of the Jewish past, he frequently chooses Jesus as a symbol of martyrdom and sacrifice. Wilson brilliantly demonstrates how Marc Chagall’s life constitutes a grand canvas on which much of twentieth-century Jewish history is vividly portrayed. Chagall left Belorussia for Paris in 1910, at the dawn of modernism, looking back dreamily on the world he abandoned. After his marriage to Bella Rosenfeld in 1915, he moved to Petrograd, but eventually returned to Paris after a stint as a Soviet commissar for art. Fleeing Paris steps ahead of the Nazis, Chagall arrived in New York in 1941. Drawn to Israel, but not enough to live there, Chagall grappled endlessly with both a nostalgic attachment to a vanished past and the magnetic pull of an uninhibited secular present. Wilson’s portrait of Chagall is altogether more historical, more political, and edgier than conventional wisdom would have us believe–showing us how Chagall is the emblematic Jewish artist of the twentieth century. Visit nextbook.org/chagall for a virtual museum of Chagall images.
Behind the Curtain
Travels in Eastern European Football
From the war-ravaged streets of Sarajevo, where turning up for training involved dodging snipers' bullets, to the crumbling splendor of Budapest's Bozsik Stadium, where the likes of Puskas and Kocsis masterminded the fall of England, the landscape of Eastern Europe has changed immeasurably since the fall of communism. Jonathan Wilson has traveled extensively behind the old Iron Curtain, viewing life beyond the fall of the Berlin Wall through the lens of soccer. Where once the state-controlled teams of the Eastern bloc passed their way with crisp efficiencya sort of communist version of total soccerto considerable success on the European and international stages, today the beautiful game in the East has been opened up to the free market, and throughout the region a sense of chaos pervades. The threat of totalitarian interference no longer remains; but in its place mafia control is generally accompanied with a crippling lack of funds. Jonathan Wilson goes in search of the spirit of Hungary's Golden Squad of the early 1950s; charts the disintegration of the soccer superpower that was the former Yugoslavia; follows a sorry tale of corruption, mismanagement, and Armenian cognac through the Caucasuses; reopens the case of Russia's greatest soccer player, Eduard Streltsov; and talks to Jan Tomaszewski about an autumn night at Wembley in 1973.