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22. Political History of the Olympic
23. The Politics of the Olympic Games
24. The Austerity Olympics: When the
25. Olympic Games 1960: Squaw Valley/Rome
26. The Complete Book of the Winter
27. Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin
28. Olympic Cities: City Agendas,
29. The Ancient Olympic Games
30. Beijing's Games: What the Olympics
31. China's Great Leap: The Beijing
32. Good As Gold: Centennial Olympic
33. Olympic Games in Ancient Greece
34. Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed
35. The International Olympic Committee
36. Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities
37. The Official History of the Olympic
38. First to the Wall, 100 Years of
39. The Olympic Spirit: 100 Years
40. The 1940 Tokyo Games: The Missing

Hardcover: 256 Pages (2005-07-22)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$14.72
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Asin: 0826215882
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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America in 1904 was a nation bristling with energy and confidence. Inspired by Theodore Roosevelt, the nation’s young, spirited, and athletic president, a sports mania rampaged across the country. Eager to celebrate its history, and to display its athletic potential, the United States hosted the world at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. One part of the World’s Fair was the nation’s first Olympic games.
            Revived in Greece in 1896, the Olympic movement was also young and energetic. In fact, the St. Louis Olympics were only the third in modern times. Although the games were originally awarded to Chicago, St. Louis wrestled them from her rival city against the wishes of International Olympic Committee President Pierre de Coubertin. Athletes came from eleven countries and four continents to compete in state-of-the-art facilities, which included a ten-thousand-seat stadium with gymnasium equipment donated by sporting goods magnate Albert Spalding.
            The 1904 St. Louis Olympics garnered only praise, and all agreed that the games were a success, improving both the profile of the Olympic movement and the prestige of the United States. But within a few years, the games of 1904 receded in memory. They suffered a worse fate with the publication of Coubertin’s memoirs in 1931. His selective recollections, exaggerated claims, and false statements turned the forgotten Olympics into the failed Olympics. This prejudiced account was furthered by the 1948 publication of An Approved History of the Olympic Games by Bill Henry, which was reviewed and endorsed by Coubertin.
            America’s First Olympics, by George R. Matthews, corrects common misconceptions that began with Coubertin’s memoirs and presents a fresh view of the 1904 games, which featured first-time African American Olympians, an eccentric and controversial marathon, and documentation by pioneering photojournalist Jessie Tarbox Beals. Matthews provides an excellent overview of the St. Louis Olympics over a six-month period, beginning with the intrigue surrounding the transfer of the games from Chicago. He also gives detailed descriptions of the major players in the Olympic movement, the events that were held in 1904, and the athletes who competed in them. This original account will be welcomed by history and sports enthusiasts who are interested in a new perspective on this misunderstood event.            
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine Discussion of the St. Louis Olympics of 1904
American's have long been fascinated by the modern Olympics, the winners and losers, the exotic locations where they are held, and the stories of the participants. Without question the Olympics have been a critical element in both the competition and cooperation of nations throughout the twentieth century. It has been a source of prestige and geopolitics for all nations involved as well as a marketplace for the interchange of cultures.

"America's First Olympics: The St. Louis Games of 1904" provides an excellent overview of the first Olympics held in the United States (odd that it was not New York or another more exotic American city), held in conjunction with the St. Louis World's Fair over nearly a six month period.

Accordingly, the subject matter of this work is both significant and timely. The work is based on the good use of several key sources, many of them primary. Accordingly, this offers a fine addition to the literature on the subject. The work is also well written and offers considerable reflection on this subject. It offers stories about the people mentioned in the text, their likes and dislikes, their perspectives on the world, their ideals and opportunism. There are telling anecdotes relayed and thoughtful stories told throughout. Finally, the last chapter offers a superb set of conclusions about the meaning of this Olympics for the summer games writ large and their place in American history. ... Read more

22. Political History of the Olympic Games (Westview Replica Edition)
by David B. Kanin
 Hardcover: 161 Pages (1981-03)
list price: US$28.50
Isbn: 0865311099
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW! I was really surprised!
When I recieved the assignment to read this book and write a term paper on it I was not very exited. What fun, writing a report about an olympic history! I resigned myself to read it on a rainy day and once I started I just couldn't stop!!!! It was not the most interesting of topics, but I really enjoyed learning abou the olympics and about the different games. I read it three times to make sure that I didn't hate it when I went back and I was not disapointed! I wrote a term paper and got the best grade in the class! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves sports and loves to learn abou the olympics and where all of the symbols and traditions were started and also about tradtions that will never happen again!
A surprised(and pleased) sixteen year old! ... Read more

23. The Politics of the Olympic Games
by Richard Espy
 Paperback: 256 Pages (1981-10-15)
list price: US$12.00
Isbn: 0520043952
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24. The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948
by Janie Hampton
Paperback: 368 Pages (2009-06-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$7.64
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Asin: 1845134230
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As the financial crisis puts a stranglehold on credit and funding, the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London already look to fall well short of their current budget. Fortunately, London has been through just such hard times before in the run-up to an Olympics, and in 1948 it showed how to run a fantastic event on a tiny budget. This thrilling history of the last Olympics in London is a tale of female competitors sewing their own kit, teams ferried to events on red London buses and billeted in Spartan hostels or even army camps, and the main stadium being hastily cleared of greyhound racing to allow the athletics to take place. The total budget was a shockingly low £760,000, and great athletes like Emil Zatopek and Fanny Blankers-Koen thrilled the crowds nonetheless.

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25. Olympic Games 1960: Squaw Valley/Rome
 Hardcover: Pages (1960)

Asin: B000KSYUIU
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26. The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition (Complete Book of the Olympics)
by David Wallechinsky, Jaime Loucky
Paperback: 352 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$3.55
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Asin: 1845134915
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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From speed skating to snowboarding, bobsleigh to ice hockey, this encyclopedia book gives the medals tables, timings, distances, and scores of every event, and provides vital information on rules and scoring systems. But much more than a statistical compendium, the book also offers a wealth of Winter Olympic history, anecdote, and lore, bringing alive the most dramatic moments from the Games and celebrating the many extraordinary individuals who have competed. It covers each event, Games by Games, from the four skating events which first featured in the 1908 London Olympics to freestyle skiing and curling—including discontinued events. With the top eight placings for every event at every Winter Olympics, plus descriptions of rules and scoring for all 2010 events, and hundreds of anecdotes, from the astonishing to the bizarre, this is an indispensable guide for all fans.

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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is the most complete book about the Winter Olympics available.It's the complementary book to the Summer Olympics.What you get is all the results and historical vignettes to most of the events.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good information. Lot of errors
I got this book to update the one I had to the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow (The 2008 Edition did that for the Summer version and it was well done). This book has a lot of errors in it. For Nordic combined, it lists the old event of 7.5 km sprint and 15 km individual even though both events changed in late 2008 to 10 km individual large hill and 10 km individual normal hill. No details provided of the Gundersen system point time differential for competitiors in the individual and team event.

There is no mention of ski cross in the freestyle skiing section which will debut at this year's Olympics.

For cross country skiing on the combined/ double pursuit, the events listed are not accurate. 1992-8 were 10 km + 15 km combined men & 5 km + 10 km combined women, both separate days. 2002 was 10 km + 10 km combined men and 5 km + 5 km combined women, same day at seperate times. Since 2006, it has been 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit women and 15 km + 15 km double pursuit men, a duathlon event. No explanation given for event.

For the knowledge that Wallechinsky and Loucky have with the Olympics, this left something to be desired.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
If you are looking for a book that spends a lot of time going over past olympics medal placings,...this is for you.Not a lot on the specific sports. ... Read more

27. Hitler's Olympics: The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games
by Christopher Hilton
Paperback: 336 Pages (2008-11-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$7.98
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Asin: 0750942932
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The Berlin Olympic Games, more than 70 years on, remain the most controversial ever held. This book creates a vivid account of the disputes, the personalities, and the events which made these Games so memorable. Ironically, the choice of Germany as the host nation for the 1936 Olympics was intended to signal its return to the world community after defeat in World War I. In actuality, Hitler intended the Berlin Games to be an advertisement for Germany as he was creating it, and they became one of the largest propaganda exercises in history. Two Germans Jews competed in the Games while the most memorable achievement was that of black American Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals. Ultimately, however, Germany was the overall biggest medal winner. The popular success of Owens allowed the Nazis to claim that their policies had no racial element and charges of antisemitism that did arise were leveled at the Americans.
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book.

A very informative and interesting book.If you're into history, you won't be disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good account of the 1936 Olympic Games
The Berlin Olympics of 1936 was perhaps the first games in which politics played a significant role.For this reason, it is considered to be one of the most controversial Olympic Games of modern times.But it was not just the politics of the Third Reich that cast it's shadow over the Games - other politicial considerations, particularly with regard to racial tensions, both Jewish and Black, made its mark.Surprisingly, the Jewish question was brought to bear on not only the selection of the German team, but also the American, in what must surely be a surprise to most readers.The long running dispute between "amateur" and "professional" athletes also raises its head.Hilton delves into each of these issues and how they came to bear upon the Games.The organization of the Games is also discussed, including Hitler's dominance of the process.

Of course, the Games is not just backroom politics.After all, it is the world's largest sporting event, and the sporting participants and their endeavors come under scrutiny. The star of the Games was undoubtedly Jesse Owens.But Hilton has also thrown the spotlight on other athletic notables, including the lesser lights of the American track and field team, along with Hendrika Mastenbroek, whose efforts in the pool were largely overlooked, despite winning 3 golds.There is passing comment on the gender controversy between Helen Stephens and Stella Walsh, two track athletes competing for Britain and Poland respectively.It is not just the athlete's sporting endeavors that is discussed by Hilton, but also what became of many of them afterwards.

A previous reviewer has commented on the style of the author's writing: "And that was the seventh day."I too found this tedious.Christopher Hilton has almost informal style at times to his writing.While it works for his racing car driver biographies (his books "Ayrton Senna: The Hard Edge of Genuis" and "Alain Prost" are superb) it does not come off so well here.It should have been toned down in my opinion.Nonetheless, this is really a minor bugbear."Hitler's Olympics" is a good account of the 1936 Berlin Games and is well worth a look for an insight into the personalities, politics and competitive endeavors of one of the most controversial Olympic Games ever. At the conclusion of the book, there is a statistics section, which lists the medal winners of the Games, along with comparisons (where possible) to the 2004 Athens Games. "Hitler's Olympics" also includes an insert of black and white photography.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This was a very well written book. I enjoyed the person stories of some of the athltes. What I did not like was some of the more choppy sections with sentences like "And that was the second day" or "And on the 15th the Fins arrived". While it did allude to the timing of everything, it seemed a bit choppy.

Overall, I would highly reccomend the book, it was an informative and entertaining read. ... Read more

28. Olympic Cities: City Agendas, Planning, and the Worlds Games, 1896 - 2016 (Planning, History and Environment Series)
 Hardcover: 464 Pages (2010-10-18)
list price: US$155.00 -- used & new: US$144.21
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Asin: 0415486572
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Providing a full overview of the changing relationship between cities and the Olympic events, this substantially revised and enlarged edition builds on the success of its predecessor. Its coverage takes account of important new scholarship as well as adding reflections on the experience of staging Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010, the state of preparations for London 2012, and the plans for the Games scheduled for Sochi in 2014 and Rio de Janeiro 2016.

The book is divided into three parts that provide overviews of the urban legacy of the four component Olympic festivals; systematic surveys of five key aspects of activity involved in staging the Olympics; and ten chronologically arranged portraits of host cities.

As controversy over the growing size and expense of the Olympics continues, this timely assessment of the Games’ development and the complex agendas that host cities attach to the event will be essential reading for urban and sports historians, urban geographers, planners and all concerned with understanding the relationship between cities and culture.

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29. The Ancient Olympic Games
by Judith Swaddling
Paperback: 120 Pages (2008-09-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.50
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Asin: 0292718934
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In this revised and enlarged edition of her indispensable guide to the ancient Games, Judith Swaddling traces their mythological and religious origins, and describes the events, the sacred ceremony, and the celebrations that were an essential part of the Olympic festival. A large, detailed model based on modern research and excavation reconstructs the site of ancient Olympia, where alongside religious and civic buildings there grew an elaborate sports complex with a stadium for 40,000 spectators, indoor and outdoor training facilities, hot and cold baths, a swimming pool, and a race course. Later chapters cover the diet and medical treatment of athletes, sponsorship, patronage, propaganda, and revivals of the Games. The last additional chapter on the modern Games is written in collaboration with Stewart Binns, an expert in this field who has worked closely with the International Olympic Committee over many years. Eleven additional archival photographs chart the major landmarks in the Olympics over the last hundred years. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars great service great product
i bought this for my greek civilization class. The book was delivered promptly and in perfect condition.Great Seller

4-0 out of 5 stars Olympia & the Ancient Games
When you buy a book that deals with a certain subject, you look for a few things that make the book worth your time. You want the book to give you the feeling of the time, you want to be entertained, you want to learn things, and have an easy reading experience. This book passes with high marks on all cases. Now, granted this book is not that long, but in some ways that's the beauty of the work.

If you are truly interested in the Ancient Olympic games, then I vow to you that this is the book to buy!!! The book is presented well and does not become dull from the start to the finish.

thank you for your time ... Read more

30. Beijing's Games: What the Olympics Mean to China
by Susan Brownell
Paperback: 230 Pages (2008-01-28)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$21.00
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Asin: 0742556417
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Why is hosting the Olympic Games so important to China? What is the significance of a quintessential symbol of Western civilization taking place in the heart of the Far East? Will the Olympics change China, or will China change the Olympics? Susan Brownell sets the historical and cultural contexts for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games by placing it within the context of China's hundred-year engagement with the Olympic movement to illuminate what the Games mean to China and what the Beijing Olympic Games will mean for China's relationship with the outside world. Brownell's deeply informed analysis ranges from nineteenth-century orientalism to Cold War politics and post-Cold War _China bashing._ Drawing on her more than two decades of engagement in Chinese sports, the author presents evocative stories and first-person accounts to paint a human picture of the passion that many Chinese people feel for the Olympic Games. It will also be essential reading for journalists and sports enthusiasts who want to understand the fascinating story behind the Beijing Olympics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars An American Anthropologist with keen attention to the Beijing Games
Susan Brownell has approached the topic of the Beijing Olympics with the seriousness which it deserves.As an anthropologist, historian, and athlete who has lived in and competed in China, she approaches the topic with professional dispatch, as well as personal knowledge.Susan has confronted the Bob Costa stereotypes about Chinese athletes over the past decade, and brings her arguments together in seven succinct chapters.Because of her professional relationship with International Olympic Committee member He Zhenliagn, Ms. Brownell's insights into motivation, goals, and obstacles are substantive.She accomplishes her goal of providing comprehensive analysis of the Olympic Movement in context of the imminent prospect of the world stage turning to the Beijing Olympics.I would urge all journalists who intend to write about their experiences in Beijing to prepare themselves by studying Susan's excellent text.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good reading
Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views (2/08)

Why were the Chinese people all excited when it was announced that the 2008 Summer Olympics would be held in Beijing? Why was it so important to them? Sure, it is a major boost to their economy. What with all the people from all over the world coming to China to cheer on their children or country's athletes. It is more than money and people that will come to Beijing this year. It will be a first in all the years of the modern-day Olympics.China has never hosted an Olympic Games. China is not known to have many Olympic champions; in the last few Olympic Games, China has accomplished their first medals of any color, including Gold.

Susan Brownell has written a brief history book about China and its customs as well as an explanation about what impact, more than financial, these Olympics will bring to Beijing and China itself. The author uses her personal experience as a previous exchange student to China to bring her book to life. She has even competed in athletic events with Chinese women and can bring their stories about not having the advantages that men have. In recent years, more has come out about possible doping in order to make better athletes achieve even higher; she addresses some of the issues of performance enhancing drugs.

For anyone who will be watching any of the 2008 Olympic Games from Beijing this book is very good reading. Through the pages of "Beijing's Games," you will learn more about this Olympics history, host country, host city and invitation to be the "people's Olympics."
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31. China's Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights Challenges
Paperback: 336 Pages (2008-05-08)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$3.50
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Asin: 1583228438
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An essential book for understanding China on the cusp of the Olympics, China’s Great Leap draws on the expertise of many of the world’s leading China experts. These writers examine the People’s Republic of China today as its government and 1.3 billion people prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games. When Beijing first sought the Games, China was still recovering from the upheavals of Maoist rule and adapting to a market revolution. Today China wants to engage with the outside world—while fully controlling the engagement. How will the new leaders in Beijing manage the Olympic process and the internal and external pressures for reform it creates? China’s Great Leap will illuminate China’s recent history and outline how domestic and international pressures in the context of the Olympics could achieve human rights change. Learn about key areas for human rights reform and how the Olympics could represent a possible great leap forward for the people of China and for the world.

With contributions from Joseph Amon, Bao Tong, Frank Ching, Jerome A. Cohen, Arvind Ganesan, R. Scott Greathead, Han Dongfang and Geoffrey Crothall, Sharon Hom, John Kamm, Phelim Kine, Jimmy Lai, Liu Xiaobo, Martin Lee, Christine Loh, Emily Parker, Kenneth Roth, Sophie Richardson, Mickey Spiegel, Wang Dan, and Dave Zirin.

As Media Director of Human Rights Watch, Minky Worden monitors crises, wars, human rights abuses, and political developments in more than seventy countries worldwide. From 1992–98, Worden lived and worked in Hong Kong as an adviser to Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee. Worden is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, speaks Cantonese and German, and is an elected member of the Overseas Press Club’s Board of Governors. She is the co-editor of Torture: Does It Make Us Safer? Is It Ever Ok? A Human Rights Perspective.

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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars What's the future for reform in China? Read on.
For a one-stop-shop of China past, present, and future, look no further than this book. The wide range of issues covered: media freedom and internet censorship; religious freedom and crackdowns by the Chinese government; the global race for the China market; and the complexity of a society with a Communist government and a capitalist economy. The various contributors clearly define their analysis and support their arguments with concise evidence. What I like most about the book is that the authors don't assume too much prior knowledge, making the book easy to read for all, not just China experts.

Will China emerge as the world's dominant power? Will missteps and missed Olympic opportunities set back reform and lead to detrimental effects for ordinary Chinese citizens? Read China's Great Leap for a clear understanding about how and why things in China will change and why some things never will.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Past, Present, and Future of Human Rights in China
As China rapidly evolves and works to find its place in the world, China's Great Leap provides a strong background on recent Chinese history as well as possible improvements in human rights that could occur because of the 2008 Olympic Games. The cast of contributors ranges from Pulitzer winners to experts on Chinese law (and even a sportswriter!), making for a surprising set of perspectives.With topics from pre-Olympic promises made by Beijing to Steven Spielberg's withdrawal as the Olympics' creative advisor, the book covers Chinese preparations for the games from all angles. The essay written by Dave Zirin, a sports writer, struck me most.It illuminates human rights abuses in connection with the Olympic Games set by cities such as Berlin, Mexico City, and Atlanta. This is certainly a must-read for anyone interested in China's current evolution and future.

1-0 out of 5 stars Another biased book on China bashing
This book aims at making a profit with the current trend of China bashing across the globe. With this objective, the selected contents are obviously biased, and even questionable to some extent.

This is not a book for anyone who wants to look at China from holistic perspectives that come from serious researches, as the author is a political anti-China activist, not a serious scholar, which obviously pre-sets the tone to this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for China Lovers
This book is unique in that it comprises contributions from two Pulitzer Prize winners, eminent experts on topics ranging from Chinese law to Olympic history, and perhaps most importantly, courageous Chinese human rights advocates who have been jailed for their beliefs. One contributor, Bao Tong, is still confined to house arrest in Beijing. The hauntingly beautiful photo essay is a moving tribute to the migrant workers who literally built the Chinese government's Olympic dream, and to the ordinary Chinese citizens who have paid a high price for the realization of this dream. China's Great Leap is essential reading for anyone who wishes to see the Chinese people emerge as the true winners of the Beijing Games.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beijing 2008 - Navigating the Politics of Human Rights in China
This is a really smart and readable book that looks at the human rights challenges in China, just as it gears up to host the Olympics in August, 2008. With essays by an all-star list of activists and writers about China, it examines the promises that Beijing made when it won the right to host the games, and intelligently poses the right questions that may prod the Communist leadership into keeping them. I liked Jimmy Lai's piece and his thoughts on 'soft power,' or the ability to influence people through inspiration and moral leadership. I liked other essays that offer some context and background to China's hosting the games, that describe the state of human rights for the religious, for migrant workers, or political optimists. There is so much unintelligible noise about China in the US today, often driven by the fear of those who are frightened that China will 'overtake' us, that a sensible and clear-eyed look at the real situation there is refreshing and welcome. For readers who are curious how to think about the politics surrounding this year's Olympics, this book seems to cover most every angle.

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32. Good As Gold: Centennial Olympic Games Cookbook
by Favorite Recipes Press
 Hardcover: 208 Pages (1997-07)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$2.28
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Asin: 0871974401
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Good As Gold is a delectable collection of more than 150 favorites from chefsrepresenting more than 50 of America's most distinctive restaurants. It includes nutritional profiles for each recipe, a section on healthful cookingfor the athlete, and colorful photographic sections on past Olympic games. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good As Gold Centennial Olympic Games Cookbook
This book is dedicated to the athletes of the Centennial Games.The first chapter talks about the first 100 years of Gold in track, diving, symnastics, basketball, ect.The 1996 Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Games Celebration.The second part introduces America's finest Chefs and Cooks.This is a hard cover 10 1/2 by 8 1/2 in size. Very nice book. ... Read more

33. Olympic Games in Ancient Greece
by Shirley Glubok, Alfred Tamarin
 Paperback: 128 Pages (1984-03)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$21.95
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Asin: 0064401375
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An account of the Olympic games as they probably occurred in 400 B.C. when they were at the height of their classic glory. ... Read more

34. Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World
by David Maraniss
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2008-07-01)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$2.87
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Asin: B002PJ4HHQ
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author David Maraniss, a groundbreaking book that weaves sports, politics, and history into a tour de force about the 1960 Rome Olympics, eighteen days of theater, suspense, victory, and defeat

David Maraniss draws compelling portraits of the athletes competing in Rome, including some of the most honored in Olympic history: decathlete Rafer Johnson, sprinter Wilma Rudolph, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, and Louisville boxer Cassius Clay, who at eighteen seized the world stage for the first time, four years before he became Muhammad Ali.

Along with these unforgettable characters and dramatic contests, there was a deeper meaning to those late-summer days at the dawn of the sixties. Change was apparent everywhere. The world as we know it was coming into view.

Rome saw the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand of shoes. Old-boy notions of Olympic amateurism were crumbling and could never be taken seriously again. In the heat of the cold war, the city teemed with spies and rumors of defections. Every move was judged for its propaganda value. East and West Germans competed as a unified team less than a year before the Berlin Wall.There was dispute over the two Chinas. An independence movement was sweeping sub-Saharan Africa, with fourteen nations in the process of being born. There was increasing pressure to provide equal rights for blacks and women as they emerged from generations of discrimination.

Using the meticulous research and sweeping narrative style that have become his trademark, Maraniss reveals the rich palate of character, competition, and meaning that gave Rome 1960 its singular essence.Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, July 2008:Armed with the same engaging narrative found in Clemente and When Pride Still Mattered, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss chronicles the triumphs, tragedies, and treacheries of "the Olympics that changed the world" with Rome 1960. The same Games that announced the greatness of icons like Cassius Clay, Wilma Rudolph, and Rafer Johnson, also exposed a growing unrest between East and West, black and white, and male and female. Even the host city of Rome, Maraniss recounts, was "infused with a golden hue...an illuminating that comes with a moment of historical transition, when one era is dying and another is being born." With moving portraits of the Games's remarkable personalities woven among tales of espionage and propaganda, Rome 1960 explores an Olympics unable to fight off the troubles of the modern world. Cold War sniping and issues of social inequalities were spilling into fields and stadiums, and the face of sport was rapidly changing.History buffs and sports fans alike will appreciate Maraniss’s quiet reporting, as he deftly removes himself from a storyline that is still relevant today. --Dave Callanan ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

3-0 out of 5 stars Bronze medal effort
While consumers rate this book very highly, professional reviews were more mixed. I've come down on the size of the pros.

The first problem with the book is the title: it's preposterous to claim that the 1960 Olympics "changed the world."They didn't even change the world of sport.Rather, it's the other way around, that the world and the world of sport forced changes in the Olympics, some of which started to surface in 1960.The Olympics were elitist, aristocratic, and racist at the time. As author David Maraniss points out, the rules on amateurism were incredibly unfair to poor or working-class athletes who were deemed to have traded on their fame when they did things as innocuous as appear on a TV game show or in a minor part in a movie. They faced millionaire businessmen and minor European royalty banning them from their sport.The Olympics leadership didn't change that policy -- rather the athletes agitated for more fair and realistic treatment, and the Olympics gradually acceded.Welcoming African nations and giving women equal treatment also came about through pressure from political and social changes that forced their way into the Olympics, not the other way around. So, the entire premise of the book should be restated.

Maraniss does a good job of putting those contradictions in place, and he gives some sense (not enough) of how complex the Olympics were in those days, but how small they were compared to today's productions.It was still a time when major countries could send unknowns who had "regular" lives to seek their moment of glory, rather than sending only highly groomed and trained professionals.

While I enjoyed some of the anecdotes about events or athletes, I found that for the most part, they were cursory. We were told over and over again that Rafer Johnson was the most respected man on the US team, but we don't really find out why, except that he's smart and handsome.Same thing with Wilma Rudolph, who apparently was the heartthrob of the team, but we don't get any real details on what made her so special.Over and over, the book begged for more details -- whether about the Tennessee State Tigerbelles or why the decathalon is structured to take place over 12-14 hours on consecutive days.

There were strange omissions, too. For example, in the concluding chapter, the author notes that the Soviets won more medals than the US for the first time, largely due to massive superiority in gymnastics. But he didn't cover a single gymnastics event in the book.

In short, the book feels rushed and superficial.It feels like it was put together from newspaper clippings, Sports Illustrated, and interviews with a couple of journalists who were at the games. One of the only things that rang with real emotion was a short visit the author had with Joe Faust, a high jumper who made the US squad but didn't get a medal and had a quirky after-life.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gold Medal Performance
I teach a high school history elective called "Sports and Society." David Maraniss's "Rome 1960" was a perfect fit for such a course.Maraniss has found a compelling event full of fascinating characters and ripe with episodes that set the stage for the major developments in sports in the decades that would follow.Maraniss weaves issues of drugs, race, gender, politics, international diplomacy, commercialism, television, and religion throughout a narrative as engaging and exciting as the most hotly contested Olympic competition.The inspirational Wilma Rudolph, the brash young Cassius Clay, the poised and focused Rafer Johnson, the surprising Abebe Bakila, the haughty Avery Brundage, and a host of other athletes, coaches, and Olympic officials come to life vividly on the wide canvas Maraniss paints of these truly defining Olympic games.If you love sports and you love history, I guarantee you'll love this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Maraaniss Masterpiece
David Maraniss has been chronicling our world for some time now, and has been especially successful at finding the nexus between politics, values, and sport."When Pride Still Mattered" and "Clemente" are excellent examples.In "Rome 1960" Maraniss takes on the cold war, civil rights, and the Rome Olympics and illustrate major issues of our time and the way sport figures into the mix.Get to know Wilma Rudolph, Mohammed Ali (as Cassius Clay), and Rafer Johnson as you never have before.See how each one of them played a big role in shaping American culture and values today.And relive the drama of one of the great sporting events of the 20th century.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book contains important history about the US
David Maraniss is an associate editor at the Washington Post and a 1993 and 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winner. He is not only a very good writer, but also a very entertaining one. He tells the tale of the 1960 Olympics in Rome just fifteen years after the Italians lost the Second World War, when the Italians were hiding the remains of their fascist regime from the hundreds of thousands of spectators who came to Italy to view the games.
This was a time when the US and the Soviets were fighting to show the world which nation was a superior regime; when the Soviets seemed to be superior to the US in science and physical strength. These were the days when there was a heated dispute over two Chinas - the mainland and Taiwan - and the blacks in South Africa were beginning to stir and express their human rights. The year 1960 was a terrible year when American blacks and women faced daily discrimination.
Maraniss tells what seem to be well over two hundred fascinating incidences that occurred at the Olympics, just before it and just after, incidences that began to open the eyes of the world to how badly too-many people were being treated. For instance:
The Olympic committee stressed verbally that all people may participate and that there should be no discrimination based on religion or color, but the head of the Olympic Committee was a vicious anti-Semite and bigot. He called the great athlete Jesse Owens "boy." He accepted the ridiculous statement of the white South Africans that there were no blacks in all of South Africa who could qualify for the Olympics.
One of the American participants was Cassius Clay, later known as Muhammad Ali, who was eighteen at the time. He talked all the time. People tried to stop him from talking by giving him sleeping pills, but they didn't work.
The Americans tried to entice one of the Soviet stars to defect, without success.
The issue of drugs came to the front at this Olympics: a cyclist died during a race because of the drugs he took to help him win, and officials tried to cover up the truth.
President Eisenhower tried to beat the Soviet's Nikita Khrushchev's warm greeting to the athletes, but failed dismally.
Blacks discriminated against in the US were winners at the Olympics, but many returned to the US to face continued discrimination and abuse.
Black girls on their way to the Olympics were not allowed to pee in white establishments in the south. They had to do so in the fields, beside the road they took to the plane that would fly them to fame outside the US.
The US trying to belie what everyone knew, that its people discriminated against blacks, had a black man lead their athletes and carry the American flag in the initial march at the Olympics. The crowd applauded loudly.
However, the Soviets drew greater applause from the crowd by marching only their prettiest girls dressed in their most fetching attire.
While a great power, the US was clearly cheated out of winning a swim contest. The officials declared the person who came in second as the winner.
One of the most dramatic events was when a short black man from Ethiopia ran the 26 plus mile marathon against the best men that the world could produce without shoes, bare foot because he could not find shoes that fit him, and won.
Maraniss gives his readers many pieces of information. For example, the legend that the marathon race of 26 plus miles commemorates the run of an Athenian man from Marathon to Athens to alert his countrymen of impending danger, is not true; Lord Byron fabricated the story in the nineteenth century.
The soviets beat the US in metals achieved. This led the new American president Kennedy to speak about "the soft American." The US began to become interested in health and many studies confirmed the president's assessment. Studies showed that American children fared far worse in strength and flexibility than their European counterparts. The move to improve children's health was one of many changes that occurred as a result of the 1960 Olympics.

3-0 out of 5 stars Why Rome?

I picked this up after being very impressed with another Maranis book about the 60s, They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967. While this had its moments, it is nowhere near as fully realized a book as his Vietnam book.

Maranis attributes to his subject Olympics some consequences that don't really play out fully on the confined stage of the 18 days in Rome. He makes the point that many trends that have become commonplace in the Olympics, the rise of black and women athletes; the importance of television over print media; exposure of what one sportswriter called "shamateurism" and the use of anabolic steroids all first came to the surface in the 1960 Olympics, but they were still in the growth stages by the time the closing ceremonies put an end to the events in Rome.

Frankly it is hard to understand why Maranis picked these particular Olympics over say Mexico City 68 or Munich 72, as an epochal event.Even if the book were to focus on a specific Olympic competition, the focus could have been broader, encompassing athletes pre event training and post event reactions back home. There is very little of that here, but what there is, including Wilma Rudolph's battle with polio and the exposure of the rampant drug use by East German athletes were some of the most compelling sections of the book.
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35. The International Olympic Committee and the Olympic System: The Governance of World Sport (Global Institutions)
by Jean-Loup Chappelet
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2008-07-25)
list price: US$140.00 -- used & new: US$123.64
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Asin: 0415431670
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When the athletes enter the stadium and the Olympic flame is lit, the whole world watches. Billions will continue to follow the events and to share in the athletes' joys and sorrows for the next sixteen days.

Readers of this book, however, will watch forthcoming editions of the Olympic Games in a completely different light. Unlike many historical or official publications and somewhat biased commercial works, it provides -- in a clear, readable form -- informative and fascinating material on many aspects of what Olympism is all about: its history, its organization and its actors.

Although public attention is often drawn to various issues surrounding this planetary phenomenon -- whether concerning the International Olympic Committee, the athletes, the host cities or even the scandals that have arisen -- the Olympic System as such is relatively little known. What are its structures, its goals, its resources? How is it governed and regulated? What about doping, gigantism, violence in the stadium?

In addition to providing a wealth of information on all these subjects, the authors also show how power, money and image have transformed Olympism over the decades. They round off the work with thought-provoking reflections regarding the future of the Olympic System and the obstacles it must overcome in order to survive.

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36. Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games
by Christopher A. Shaw
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-07-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.99
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Asin: 0865715920
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"This is a cleverly written and timely book. New Society Publishers have managed to put a well-designed paperback on the market just in time to wage a war of words, on the tail end of a province-wide gag law. Indeed, the cloak of silence surrounding all things Olympic have taken us to new levels, as even the digits 2010, preceded by the name of our fair city, are considered fair game, and grounds for libel. A historical perspective on the original intent and players in the Games from the days of their creation answers trivia quesitons like" who was the first athlete to win the gold?", while adding a nostalgic touch, and the chapter on dissent and resistance of the Olympics in other cities brings the whole book into international focus." - Christina Ferrero, Epoch Times


The shiny rings of the Olympic Games have grown tarnished over the years as doping, corruption, and other scandals rise to the surface. Those scandals are the tip of the iceberg, according to author Christopher A. Shaw, the lead spokesperson for several anti-Games groups.

Five Ring Circus details the history of how Vancouver won the bid for the 2010 Games, who was involved, and what the real motives were. It describes the role of corporate media in promoting the Games, the machinations of government and business, and the opposition that emerged.

Disturbing questions come to light:

  • Why does the International Olympic Committee pay no taxes?
  • Who are the real estate developers behind the Vancouver bid?
  • Why are mega projects paid for with tax dollars?
  • What are the true costs of the Games?

The Olympic Games, once considered the pinnacle of athleticism and fair play, have become a cesspool of greed, backroom deals, and the wholesale trampling of civil liberties. In Vancouver, preparations for the 2010 Games have had a substantial negative impact on the environment and have resulted in the “economic cleansing” of the poor and homeless.

This book is a cautionary tale for future Olympic bid cities, and will appeal to those concerned about the effects of globalization on many aspects of life.

Christopher A. Shaw is a professor at the University of British Columbia. He is a founding member and lead spokesperson for the No Games 2010 Coalition and 2010 Watch. He lives in North Vancouver.

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37. The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC: From Athens to Beijing, 1894-2008 (Official History of the Olympic Games & the Ioc)
by David Miller
Hardcover: 592 Pages (2008-05-01)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$126.42
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Asin: 1845961595
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Together with the highs and lows of the Games themselves, this illustrated chronicle includes the recreation of the Olympic Games by Pierre de Coubertin and the often tempestuous and controversial fortunes of the governing body—including three successive boycotts and the Salt Lake City scandal of 1998. It also tells the story of the historic competitors—from Spyridon Louis (the inaugural Marathon winner) and such heroes as Jim Thorpe, Paavo Nurmi, Sonja Heine, Jesse Owens, Greg Louganis, and Carl Lewis, to more recent medal winners, including Steve Redgrave and Kathy Freeman. The twin evolutions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the world's greatest sports festival unfold in alternate chapters, each of which begins with a personal reminiscence by either a famous champion or a notable IOC figure. Detailed background is provided on the many crises—the Nazi Games of 1936, the massacre at Mexico City in 1968, the Israeli slaughter by terrorists in 1972, the boycotts, the new commercialism from 1984 onwards, the advent of professionals from 1988, and the ongoing threat of drug abuse. Included is how the credibility of the Games and of the IOC was rescued by the glory of Sydney 2000, and how the sporting world anticipated the Games' return in 2004 to the country of their ancient origins.
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5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent history of the Olympic movement and the Games, very well balanced.For an "Official" history, Miller states his views even when they are critical of the IOC, athletes or other individuals, and hits the highlights in a very well-written book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Olympic book
Excellent text giving all the relavent information on the games todate. Especially caters for those interested in the statistics of it all and in neeed for a ready reference. ... Read more

38. First to the Wall, 100 Years of Olympic Swimming
by Susan LaMondia
Paperback: 374 Pages (1999-11-03)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$24.56
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Asin: 0967417104
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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First to the Wall, 100 Years of Olympic is a perfectbound, soft cover title. Research indicates that this is the onlytitle available that encompasses the subject of Olympic Swimming inits entirety. The historical content is broken up with humor, triviaand graphics. The book contains complete charts of the, events,finalists and times for each Olympiad. Over 125 photographs bring tolife the history and excitement of Olympic Swimming. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Read it now !
Perfectly balanced: history and funny facts. A great tribute to Olimpic heroes. Essential for those who love swimming and Olimpic Sports. ... Read more

39. The Olympic Spirit: 100 Years of the Games
by Susan Wels
Hardcover: 192 Pages (1996-06)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$10.64
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Asin: 188765609X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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An official publication of the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, featuring more than one hundred colorful photographs and offering an overview of the Olympics from their inception in ancient Greece, celebrates the centennial of the modern Olympic games. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars A Moving Olympic Review
This book is simply amazing!It chronicles the Olympic games from 1896-1992, including pictures of torches and medallions commemorating each year.Notable historic Olympians are profiled along with highlights from each year.The photography is great and the information intreaging.Amust for any Olympic enthusiast and a great coffee table book! ... Read more

40. The 1940 Tokyo Games: The Missing Olympics: Japan, the Asian Olympics and the Olympic Movement
by Sandra Collins
Paperback: 202 Pages (2008-10-21)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$36.08
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Asin: 041549561X
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By representing their experience of modernity as different from the West in their respective Olympic Games, Asian nations reveal much about the ambitions and anxieties of being an Asian host in the continuing western Olympic hegemony. This original work explores the encounter between ‘the East and the West’ by analyzing the deliberate self-presentational cultural diplomacy historically required of Asian Olympic hosts.

Exploring the relationship between Modern Asia and the Olympic Games, it focuses on the forgotten history of the 1940 Tokyo Olympics to reveal the complex and fascinating encounter between Japan and the world in the 1930s. The book is the first full account of this encounter and draws substantially on Japanese sources hitherto unknown in the English-speaking world. It argues that this encounter sets the scene and the tone for later Asian involvement in the Olympic Movement. It includes chapters on:

  • Imperial Commemoration and Diplomacy

  • the Japanese Fascist Olympics

  • the Event, Japanese Style

  • the Spectre of 1940 in Later Asian Olympics.

This work fills a gap in the literature, and provides an original addition to the history of Japanese culture, Asian cultures and the Olympic Movement.

This book is a special issue of The International Journal of the History of Sport.

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