Among the Thugs, by Bill Buford

There's no lingering reverence for the mobs of thugs that intimidated opposing fans both within and outside of England's borders in the 1980s in Buford's book, but it's a drama-packed and breathless read, especially a section chronicling the bottle-throwing and bus-shaking mayhem a few hundred Manchester United "fans" unleashed on Turin ahead of and during a 1984 match against Juventus.

After decades of work between local and international police organizations to prevent that sort of fan behavior, it's unlikely there will be a similar scene at this year's World Cup, says Vescey: "People are paying good money to be there. Fathers are taking sons to the game. That's what you see at the World Cup. [In 2010] Ghanaian fans and American fans were coming out of this knockout match, talking to each other about the game."