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Bestsellers

Deadly serious games

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THIS GREAT SYMBOL: PIERRE DE COUBERTIN AND THE ORIGINS OF THE MODERN OLYMPIC GAMES

by John J Macaloon

This Great Symbol is a study of the origins of the modern Olympic Games and of their founder, Pierre de Coubertin, whose ideological stamp the Olympics still bear. The book is a skilful blend of biography and history and is essential reading to understand why Coubertin came up with the idea of the Games and how he put into action.

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD


by William Oscar Johnson Jr

Veteran sports writer, William Oscar Johnson Jr, debunks some of the legends of the Olympic Games, particularly Avery Brundage, the autocratic president of the International Olympic Committee from 1952 to 1972. Johnson concentrates on controversies that have marred the Games and he challenges conventional wisdom. For instance, he picks holes in the cherished myth that Johnny Hayes, the American who won the controversial 1908 Olympic marathon in London, trained by running around the roof of the Bloomingdale's department store. Apparently, Hayes was a pro, paid by Bloomingdale's to do nothing but train.

TRIUMPH: THE UNTOLD STORY OF JESSE OWENS AND HITLER'S OLYMPICS


by Jeremy Schaap

If 1936 Olympics was about Nazi Germany it was equally about one man who single-handedly demonstrated that Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy was a lie: the Ameri can athlete Jesse Owens. The story of Owens at the Berlin Games is that of an athletic performance that transcends sports. Drawing on unprecedented access to the Owens family, previously unpublished interviews, and exhaustive archival research, Jeremy Schaap transports us to Germany and tells the dramatic tale of Owens and his fellow athletes at the contest dubbed the Nazi Olympics.

BERLIN GAMES: HOW THE NAZIS STOLE THE OLYMPIC DREAM


by Guy Walters

No Olympic Games is as much written about as the 1936 Berlin Games. The Games were not only a magnificent sporting event but also a grand showcase for Hitler's Third Reich. Undoubtedly, the 1936 Olympics was the most political sporting event of the last century. Berlin Games is the complete history of those fateful two weeks in August, which were a propaganda coup by Nazi Germany but at the same time witness to spectacular sporting achievements.

THE AUSTERITY OLYMPICS: WHEN THE GAMES CAME TO LONDON IN 1948


by Janie Hampton

If the Berlin Games was all about pomp, the London Games held after a gap of 12 years was the reverse. When London hosted the Games in 1948 Britain was yet to recover from the effects of World War II. To find the answer to what the Games were like Hampton takes us back to 1948 and chronicles the London Games in riveting detail.

THE PERFECT MILE


by Neal Bascomb

A stirring account of athleticism in the face of adversity follows the remarkable journey of three young men - John Landy, Wes Santee and the legendary Roger Bannister - who suffered defeat at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 but nevertheless vowed to break the four-minute mile, training tirelessly to accomplish their goal.

ROME 1960: THE OLYMPICS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD


by David Maraniss

David Maraniss' groundbreaking book on the Rome Olympics combines sports, politics, and history. Some of the all-time greatest athletes - decathlete Rafer Johnson, sprinter Wilma Rudolph, marathoner Abebe Bikila, and of course Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali - performed in Rome. However, besides focusing on these sporting greats Maraniss writes on why the 1960 Games was the beginning of a new era: the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand of shoes. At the same time there were sweeping changes afoot in world politics: East and West Germans competed as a unified team less than a year before the Berlin Wall;there was dispute over the two Chinas;there was increasing pressure to provide equal rights for blacks and women.

THE AMATEURS


by David Halberstam

Rowing is a sport that has at best a niche audience. But in The Amateurs, David Halberstam makes rowers as interesting as he had previously made cabinet secretaries and point guards. His account of the competition to represent the US in rowing at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics revolves around one perplexing fact: why anyone would punish himself the way rowers do. That they often come from comfortable Ivy League backgrounds yet choose an uncelebrated sport defined by suffering fascinates Halberstam.

BEIJING'S GAMES: WHAT THE OLYMPICS MEAN TO CHINA


by Susan Brownell

Why was hosting the Olympic Games so important to China? Susan Brownell, an anthropologist who has written a pioneering book on Chinese sport, sets the historical and cultural stage for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by exploring the vital links among sports, gender, state power, Chinese nationalism, and China's national image in the West over the past century. Drawing on her years as a college athlete in China, she places the 2008 Games within the context of China's hundred-year engagement with the Olympic movement.

THE COMPLETE BOOK OF THE OLYMPICS


by David Wallechinsky

David Wallechinsky is best known for his bestselling The Book of Lists. Updated every four years, The Complete Book of the Olympics is the only single volume in English in which you can find the results of every Olympic competition since 1896, plus interesting anecdotes about hundreds of Olympians and the events in which they participated.

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