Tyler's Reviews > Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World

Rome 1960 by David Maraniss
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Aug 05, 10

Read from June 26 to July 05, 2010

Synopsis: The Rome Olympics of 1960 were held when the world was in a transitory state. The Cold War was at its height, it was the first time that many of the Olympic competitions allowed women to compete and the United States (and much of the world) was in the midst of a racial revolution. While many of the athletes representing the United States were African Americans who were celebrated when they won, there were many restaurants and other places where they were prohibited due to the color of their skin. In addition, the 1960 Olympics were the first Olympics that were really televised and broadcast throughout the world. Clips had been shown during previous Olympics, but this was the first time that prime-time viewers were able to watch much of the competitions. These were the Olympics of sprinter Wilma Rudolph, decathlete Rafer Johnson and boxer Cassius Clay.

My Review: I loved reading the stories of the competitions. There always seemed to be an underlying political theme during every event. The Americans vs. the Soviets, the West Germans and the East Germans competing on a unified German team. The South Africans swearing that no racism was involved in selecting their team yet not a single black was good enough to compete. The inspiring stories of the decathlon, the track events and many others were also very enjoyable. The book did get a little wordy, but all in all was quite an interesting read.
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