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The Nazi Olympics (Sport and Society)
This book is an expose of one of the most bizarre festivals in sport history. It provides portraits of key figures including Adolf Hitler, Jesse Owens, Leni Riefenstahl, Helen Stephens, Kee Chung Sohn, and Avery Brundage. It also conveys the charade that reinforced and mobilized the hysterical patriotism of the German masses.
Paperback, 360 pages
Published January 1st 1987 by University of Illinois Press
(first published March 12th 1972)
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Classic 1971 book by Richard Mandell about the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and the lesser known winter games held in Germany earlier that year. Mandell gives a great history of the modern Olympics and Germany's role in it, and the aborted 1916 games, (cancelled because of the First World War) and the desire for Germany to put on an Olympics, finally awarded by the IOC in 1932. There was a sticky wicket ahead, however, as Hitler came to power the next year. The games went on despite threats of boycotts ...more
Richard D. Mandell’s The Nazi Olympics is an interesting artifact from the early era of sports history not only because it advances the (then) contentious argument that sports, and particularly the Olympics, are heavily intertwined with politics, but also because it attempts to meet standards of academic rigor while at the same time remaining accessible to non-specialists. In this task the author largely succeeds and his work does an excellent job in demonstrating how the Nazi regime utilized sp ...more
This was a good read about the 1936 Olympics in Germany. Mandell is a preeminent historian of sport, and this book is well researched. My main issue is not with the writing, but that the 1987 edition that I read needed a fresh editing job instead of the short errata that was placed in the introduction. Still, this was a fascinating book about a pivotal moment in sports history.
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