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Berlin Games

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  10 reviews
IN 1936, Adolf Hitler welcomed the world to Berlin to attend the Olympic Games. It promised to be not only a magnificent sporting event but also a grand showcase for the rebuilt Germany. No effort was spared to present the Third Reich as the newest global power. But beneath the glittering surface, the Games of the Eleventh Olympiad of the Modern Era came to act as a crucib ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2006)
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On the one hand, it really is nice to finish one of the books on my 'borrowed from other people, must read and return at some point' shelf.

On the other hand, if you really really love the Olympics like I do, you may not want to read this book.

It's a great book, covering the historical moment of the Berlin Games, and giving a depth of insight to the debates around whether or not attendance at the games meant supporting Hitler, etc. Among other things, it's made me want to track down "Boycott", t
Interesting read.

However, the book should have focused either on the politics or the athletics. The first half of the book is pure politics, and the second half is pure retelling the results. The 10 pages at the end recapping everyone's lifes after the Olympics is far too short. The aftermath is what is important for this theory.

Also, the author tends to drop in way too many editorializing comments. We get it, you think Nazis were bad. It is a pretty common belief, you don't need to insert comme
Erik Graff
Jan 03, 2015 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Olympics & students of Nazism
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
In reviewing other works by Walters listed in the GoodReads database I was surprised to see that he has concentrated on Nazi Germany. Having read this book of his I had come to the erroneous conclusion that his primary interest was in the sports, not in the politics, of 1936. While this suggests that readers primarily interested in the history of the Olympics will not be disappointed, it also indicates that the book was a bit weak about the political context within which Germany sponsored both t ...more
This book gives a good overview of how the Nazis hijacked the Olympics and used it as a tool for political propaganda, and how the rest of the world let them do it.

Being a British writer, the author naturally spent extra time and space on British athletes and British results. This was time undeserved as they finished a dismal 10th in the medal standings, with only four golds. Speaking of which, I felt the author spent far too much time describing the actual competitions, getting caught up in the
In 1936 Germany had both Olympics. Before the winter games in Garmisch Partenkirken countries had to decide if they were going. The USOC under pro-German Avery Brundage were always going. Soon the Brits got on board. Walters believes that without the big western powers showing up the Nazis march into the Rhineland months later might not have happened. For the summer games, a boycott movement amounted to nothing. The Nazis bribed Baron de Coubertin with money and western diplomats with fancy dinn ...more
Nothing earthshaking here, but it deserves an average ranking higher than 3.3 stars, so it gets 4 from me. Realistically, this is one of those 3.5-star books.

I knew Avery Brundage was snooty and elitist, but this book confirms the roots of that, as well as of his anti-Semitism.

There are some interesting ironies. First, Hitler, of course, remilitarized the Rhineland in 1935. France might have stood up to him, if Britain had backed it. The British Olympic Committee seriously considered an Olympic
This book is rather had to rate - because it feels like two books joined together. One book is about the politics of the Olympics and how things went on behind closed (and sometimes open) doors. That was quite interesting, and a bit scary. The other book is an account of the Berlin Olympics (well, to be fair, there is a bit about the Winter Games too). And that other part is SO full of details - including results, lane numbers, who said what to whom, who thought who cheated etcetera. It got real ...more
I read Berlin Games prior to the Beijing Olympics and was surprised to find so many similarities between Nazi Germany and modern China. I'm not so sure we learned how to apply the lessons learned in the Holocaust when we still allow a nation to silence the voices of its people.
I give Berlin Games only 3 stars because (though extremely applicable) large parts of the book (ex. olympic planning committe meeting minutes, etc.) were rather boring.
Click here to find it in the catalogue.
This book is not quite what I have expected. It's not the political tale I imagined it to be, it contains more pages dedicated to sport than anything else. I am no follower of the Olympics, but the book is alright I suppose.
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Guy Walters (born 8 August 1971) is a British author, novelist, historian, academic and journalist.
More about Guy Walters...
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