Power Plays

The Trouser People The football stadium is the only place in Burma where five thousand rabble-rousers can jeer, "Fool, fool, fool!" at a member of the government without being hauled off to the stockade. In his happily meandering travelogue The Trouser People (Penguin Viking; 296 pages), Andrew Marshall takes us right into these very stands among the ordinary—and extraordinary—people of contemporary Burma, as he retraces the steps of George Scott, the Englishman who brought the sport to the now soccer-obsessed country more than a century ago.

Marshall uses the...

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