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Entries by Alan Elsner from 06/2010

For Football Fans, World Cup Is Chance to Relive Past

| Posted 06.10.2010 | Sports

While enjoying the tournament, we look back on all the previous World Cups. Personally, I remember what I was doing during every World Cup since 1966, when I was 12 and my team won.

America's Hatred of Soccer Now (Mostly) A Thing of the Past

| Posted 06.11.2010 | Sports

One welcome development in the United States in recent years has been the slow death of anti-soccer rhetoric.

Why Terrible Sporting Errors Are So Compelling

| Posted 06.13.2010 | Sports

Why do we remember such disasters decades later? Is it schadenfreude, our fascination and guilty pleasure at the pain of others?

Is It Time to Stop Rooting Against Germany?

| Posted 06.14.2010 | Sports

If I'm honest, I have to admit that behind the English antipathy to Germany lies a strong element of envy. The hard fact is that when England face Germany on the football pitch, Germany usually wins.

Solzhenitsyn's Great Masterwork

| Posted 06.21.2010 | Books

A new translation of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's In The First Circle which appeared in English last year, presents a "restored text" of the Russian novelist's masterwork. It is a towering achievement.

Those National Anthems: What Are They Singing?

| Posted 06.22.2010 | Sports

European anthems tend to be rather bloody. We all know about the Marseillaise with its warning of enemies coming to "slit the throats of your sons and wives" but Il Canto degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians) stays firmly on message.

In World Cup, Time to Lose National Stereotypes

| Posted 06.30.2010 | Sports

Stylistically, the game has become homogeneous. I couldn't discern any difference between the way Denmark played in the World Cup and the way Japan played -- except that Japan played better.