BUFORD, Bill. Among the Thugs.

Secker & Warburg, 1991. First edition. One of the earliest and best books on football hooligans, Richard Danzig, a senior advisor to United States president Barack Obama, claimed that a lesson could be learned about terrorists by studying football hooligans. Referring to Among the Thugs, Danzig states that “one of the best books I’ve read on terrorism in recent years is not about terrorism at all. [Buford] describes the most appalling examples of soccer violence by fans against fans. But he describes with relentless honesty how he finds sickening things attractive. He says violence lets the adrenaline flow; it’s like sex, you live in the moment” Buford elaborates further in the text, I was surprised by what I found; moreover, because I came away with a knowledge that I had not possessed before, I was also
grateful, and surprised by that as well. I had not expected the violence to be so pleasurable….This is, if you like, the answer to the hundred-dollar question: why do young males riot every Saturday? They do it for the same reason that another generation drank too much, or smoked dope, or took hallucinogenic drugs, or behaved badly or rebelliously. Violence is their antisocial kick, their mind-altering experience, an adrenaline- induced euphoria that might be all the more powerful because it is generated by the body itself, with, I was convinced, many of the same addictive qualities that characterize synthetically-produced drugs. Buford became interested in crowd hooliganism when, on his way home from Cardiff in 1982 he boarded a train that was commandeered by supporters coming from a football match. He spent the next eight years going to football matches, befriending supporters, and witnessing riots, resulting in this book. A near fine copy, page edges browned as usual, in a near fine, price-clipped, dust jacket.


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