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Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics
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Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  844 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
From the ESPN national correspondent and author of the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Man comes the remarkable behind-the-scenes story of a defining moment in sports and world history.

In 1936, against a backdrop of swastikas flying and a storm troopers goose-stepping, an African-American son of sharecroppers won a staggering four Olympic gold medals and single-handed
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Sean Gibson
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed this for Kirkus waaaayyy back when it came out:

Great book, if you're into this sort of thing.
Nov 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
An absolutely fantastic read!
The author does a wonderful job at painting just how once-in-a-lifetime talent Owens really was, while not deifying him or making him into an icon without defects. It's pretty amazing to think about the records he set and how long they stood and what he could have accomplished had he had today's training, equipment and facilities.
One of my favorite parts was when as an 11-year old kid, in street clothes and regular school shoes he ran a 100-yards in 11 seconds. The
Interesting and informative, this easily readable book covers the key points of Jesse Owens' life (in and out of sports) in addition to these historical arenas: Olympic politics, Hitler, Eugenics, and World War II. The upside to journalistic-style writing is that it's concise, not overly wordy, and simplistically worded. The downside: impersonal, dry, and droning at times. Overall though, a good solid read - but without any connecting passion and/or pizazz.

Three *** Historically Relevant, Biogr
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was average. I was really bored by the descriptions of the races Owens ran. While I think the story of Jesse Owens could be interesting, the writing in this book just didn't draw me in.

I have to say I was really disturbed reading about Hitler and white supremacy right now. Some of the parts about Hitler and his people's ability to convince the public that they weren't doing and planning horrible things in the early days of his leadership seemed a little too real. It is scary to think
John Willis
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great breakdown of the day by day events leading up to the Olympics and the dynamics of the interactions of Owens, Long, and the interactions with Hitler and the Germans.
Sep 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
This should have been better. Poor writing, kind of simplified and obvious too much of the time, is the main culprit as second generation sports journalist doesn't compare to his father that is for sure (Dick Schaap).

The story of Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics is pretty amazing and I'm shocked it hasn't been made into a movie--although I think that is happening soon. It's going to be one of those rousing sports films that have been coming once or twice a year for the past decade. Tear
Letitia Moffitt
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I saw the movie "Race" on an airplane recently and decided I wanted to read more about Jesse Owens in the Olympics. This book was just what I was looking for. The prose is very readable, and Schaap does a good job of describing both Owens's life and the important other players and events of the time without one distracting us too much from the other. It kind of irked me that the movie took certain typically Hollywood liberties with the truth (the part about the relay is completely changed, when ...more
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
"The Nazi government wants more than American participation in a sporting contest. It wants to picture Hitler with Uncle Sam standing behind him and saying, 'We are with you, Adolf!'" ...After years of debate, if the U.S. was to send its teams to the Olympics, its action would be viewed universally as nothing less than a validation of the Third Reich, which had just stripped its Jewish citizens of their most basic rights."

Sound familiar?
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book was more than a biography about the athlete. It was about someone who was the best in the world at what he did, and still was considered inferior because of his race.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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From wikipedia article on author Jeremy Schaap (b. August 23, 1969, New York City) is an American sportswriter, television reporter, and author. Schaap is a six-time Emmy award winner for his work on ESPN's E:60, SportsCenter and Outside the Lines.
He is a regular contributor to Nightline and ABC World News Tonight and has been published in Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, Time, Parade, The W
More about Jeremy Schaap...
“Snyder was a progressive. Unlike Avery Brundage of the AOC and Dean Cromwell of USC, he was far from sympathetic to the Nazi cause. But his first loyalty was to Jesse Owens. He thought that if Owens got the chance to compete, he would win every event he entered. He knew, too, that then Owens would never have to look back. Of course, it is also crucial to remember that Snyder’s opinion was not informed by the gift of foresight. Like the AOC, he did not know, as we now know, that there would be a holocaust, that Hitler and his regime would eventually kill millions, that the Germans would attack Poland, France, and the Soviet Union. If he had known, he would have felt differently about the boycott. But in 1935 it was still possible to assume that European Jewry was not on the precipice of extinction, just as it was possible to believe that Hitler was not quite a madman. Everyone knew that Hitler disliked the Jews, but few imagined that he would attempt to exterminate them. In” 1 likes
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