Those old enough will welcome a wonderful insight into the cricketing voices of their childhood. Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket reflects upon two titans of cricket journalism and broadcasting. Youngsters can discover them for the first time. Stephen Fay and David Kynaston combine seamlessly to produce a gem of a book -- Vic Marks, Observer 'Books of the Year' Magnificent . One of the best cricket books I've read in years: it makes long-forgotten matches live and breathe as though they were played yesterday -- Marcus Berkmann, Daily Mail 'Books of the Year' A chronicle of 20th-century class difference, elegantly observed through the lives of the two men and their attitudes towards their beloved sport -- Emma John, Guardian 'Books of the Year' A wonderfully readable and illuminating account of the game in the last half of the 20th century . Beautifully written, meticulously researched and stuffed with rich sporting and social history, this must already be a candidate for Sports Book of the Year. Unputdownable -- Michael Simkins, Mail on Sunday A triumph . [Kynaston and Fay] both have inside-outside sensitivities that keep this near-seamless collaboration shrewd, worldly, balanced and fresh, Times Literary Supplement [A] delightful and thoughtful book . A nostalgic delight, Standpoint John Arlott and EW Swanton defined cricket commentary in the second half of the 20th century . As this wonderful biography shows, they were united by their love of the spirit of cricket, and stood together in resisting anything that compromised it, from bullying moguls to racism, Daily Telegraph An important account of English cricket through the post-war decades from the glorious summer of 1947 to one-day cricket and Packer . Cricket has always produced literature that weaves together sport and society and this book certainly presents an insight into post-war England that reaches far beyond the boundary rope, Country Life A historian of peerless sensitivity and curiosity about the lives of individuals -- Praise for David Kynaston, Financial Times John Arlott and EW Swanton were the voices of English cricket for much of the post-war years. This insightful, provocative book gently teases out the differences in their styles, backgrounds and personalities and shows why all this mattered in a society defined by class and in a sport riven by it -- Hugh MacDonald, Herald. David Kynaston was born in Aldershot in 1951. He has been a professional historian since 1973 and has written eighteen books, including The City of London (1994-2001), a widely acclaimed four-volume history, and WG's Birthday Party, an account of the Gentleman v. Players match at Lord's in July 1898. He is the author of Austerity Britain 1945-51 and Family Britain 1951-57, the first two titles in a series of books covering the history of post-war Britain (1945-1979) under the collective title 'Tales of a New Jerusalem'. He is currently a visiting professor at Kingston University.. A fascinating account of how two BBC broadcasters battled for the soul of English cricket during a time of great social changeFor more than a quarter of a century after the Second World War, as the BBC tightened its grip on the national consciousness, two of the most famous English voices were commentators on games of cricket. John Arlott and E.W. ('Jim') Swanton transformed the broadcasting of the nation's summer game into a national institution. For any cricket follower in his fifties or older, just the mention of their names immediately evokes a flood of memories.Swanton was born into a middle-class family and privately educated; Arlott was the son of a working-class council employee, educated at state schools until he left at the age of sixteen. Because of their strong personalities and distinctive voices - Swanton's crisp and upper-class, Arlott's with its Hampshire burr - each had a loyal following in the post-war years, when England's class system had a slot for almost everyone. Within a few minutes of the start of a conversation, it would be possible to identify the speaker as an Arlott or a Swanton man.Arlott and Swanton never grew to like each other, but both typified the contrasting aspects of post-war Britain and the way both it and the game they loved was to change. As England moved from a class-based to a more egalitarian society, nothing stayed the same - including professional cricket. Wise, lively and filled with rich social and sporting history, Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket shows how these two very different men battled to save the soul of the game as it entered a new era.
Summer voices heard again Once upon a time there was a game which was so ingenious, subtle and skilful that people flocked to watch it. If they couldn’t get to the game they listened to the commentary or summary by two brilliant observers. Times change, attention spans decline and spectators demand constant sensation and drama. This excellent book takes those of us who recall those wonderful days back to when Test Matches were fewer and the better for it because their scarcity increased the anticipation and excitement. I’m glad Arlott and Swanson have been spared witnessing the decline of the greatest game. Sledging, cheating, yelling and clap-handing’ and that’s just the players. A modern Test Match crowd is a bear-pit. But with this book we return to the game at its best and get a fascinating insight into what made those two fine men tick. Their foibles, frailties and fascination. Great stuff, indeed. .
Cricket and its corridors of uncertainty This is essentially the history of post-war cricket seen through the eyes of two men whose voices and writings shaped and enhanced the sporting experience for millions. They were of different backgrounds, styles and philosophies, but both had a significant impact on the game. There was certainly plenty to chew over: the amateur/professional wrangle, the emergence of the one-day game, the d'Oliveira affair and the Kerry Packer revolution to name but a few. All these controversial milestones are examined in fascinating detail. It was especially pleasing to be reminded of some of Arlott's famous word pictures for Test Match Special: 'A stroke of a man knocking a thistle-top off with a walking stick.' I suppose this book will appeal largely to those described in the Postscript as ' ... older followers of the game [who] pine for a lost golden age.' That would be a pity because it would be an education to younger cricket followers to know that there's nothing new about counties' financial struggles, slow over-rates, boorish behaviour and the fear that the shorter game will eventually devour its long-standing bedfellow. As far back as 1972, Arlott was reflecting that 'it would be a pity if the entertaining and rewarding tail [one-day cricket] were to wag the dog so hard as to shake it off.' This is an absorbing study, well written and admirably researched.
Read this wonderful book during the baking hot month of May and ... Read this wonderful book during the baking hot month of May and few have had a grater time warping quality than this This elegy to two great broadcasters and the game of cricket which we have sadly list evokes pure nostalgia of summers past Both Arlott and Swanton were supporters of the 3 County and Test Games but were pragmatic enough to appreciate the importance of the importance of the one day game Quite what they had made of T20 and the number of games expected from players goodness only knows Today crickets administrators do not seem to realise that more is less in broadcasting terms none of the ex players or pundits who populate the the commentary box can hold a candle to either Arlott and Swanton I have always been an Arlott fan who along with Alistair Cook painted the pictures on radio better than anyone eise i have ever heard Try and find this summer an of the cuff description to that of Arlott describing Asif Massoods run up as "like Groucho Marx chasing a pretty waitress" Read and savour this history of the reporting of post war cricket by two broadcasters and writers of whom we shall not see their lie again and on a game that sadly is a shadow of summers past Fay and Kynaston have done them proud. Buy it and enjoy
You Must Have This. As soon as a saw a description of this I knew it was a must for me. I devoured thousands of words by these two towering pillars of cricket writing and loved them both. As a Hampshire fan my heart was with Arlott but Swanton was my daily cricket bible for many years. I didn't wait to put it on my Christmas list, I ordered it the week it was published. It is all I hoped for and more. It is nicely written and covers the background to both men's careers thoroughly. The second half is a wonderful evocation of the cricket of my younger days. Since completing it I have re-read several of the books I have by these two and I still love them. If you are at all attracted by the premise of this book, don't hesitate. It delivers what you think it will.
Fascinating insight Having written on this period in English cricket I was familiar with many of Arlott’s & Swanton’s Writings but what this book brought out superbly was that both commentators were more varied in their views on cricket, politics and life than has been commonly supposed. The book demonstrates clearly that Swanton was not merely a pompous reactionary, a bastion of the cricketing & political establishment any more than Arlott was essentially a liberal critic, a left of Centre iconoclast with a sounder moral compass. The authors should be congratulated in drawing portraits that not only represent Arlott & Swanton as impressive writers but as thoughtful commentators.
A great review of cricket between the finish of WW2 and the end of the 20th century This book is a wonderful review of World cricket between the finish of World War II and the end of the last century. Arlott and Swanton were the two most important and best cricket journalists and broadcasters in that period. The book deals with their differing views of the controversies of the period, Packer, One Day Cricket and South Africa. It brings out the great love for the game that underwrote their differing views and their concerns for the future. It is a beutifully written book that deals affectionately with their idiocyncracies and peccadillos. It is also wonderfully nostalgic for anyone who grew up as a cricket fan in those years.
It also contains some excellent anecdotes of both of these substantial characters A superb book. It tells of the changes in cricket over 50 years through the lives of two very different cricket journalists. Interestingly at certain points the reactionary Swanton of the Telegraph is more open to change than the politically more radical Arlott of the Guardian. It also contains some excellent anecdotes of both of these substantial characters. thoroughly recommended.
A very well researched cricketing commentary book. Really gets you “ inside “ these two great but very different cricketing officianadoes . Each had very good & some not so good characteristics but both were true experts in their chosen careers. A very good read if cricket history is your thing.
A wonderful look into the two gifted writers who came from ... A wonderful look into the two gifted writers who came from two very different worlds. Both at the top of their game.
Not the easiest of reads Bought for my husband who said that whilst the storylines are interesting the style of the writing meant it wasn't the easiest of reads.
Rating : 3.3 of 244 Reviewers
Rating : 4.8 of 281 Reviewers