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Ultra: The Underworld of Italian Football by Tobias Jones

This latest examination of the Italian ultras scene is hugely thrilling - dextrous and multi-layered, it examines the 'dark heart', as Tobias' previous books have also done, of his adopted homeland not through the big ultras groups in the country's largest cities, such as Roma or Juventus but in Cosenza Calcio, a small club in the south with a prominent, left-leaning ragtag group of ultras.


The book's strength lies in the author expertly interlacing the history of the ultras movement, covering half a century of the flashpoints, fatalities and shared histories with his own experience embedded with the Cosenza ultras criss-crossing the country in support of this mediocre team, where little of note happens on the pitch.

It's not naïve - the author calls out the bigotry and criminality he sees first hand, and traces the links between the ultras movement and the rise of the far right in Italy and elsewhere. This is tempered with the sense of belonging and brotherhood is that binds these fans together and what makes these extreme form of fandom so intoxicating. A fabulous book.