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The games: the global history of the Olympics

David Goldblatt

Summary

David Goldblatt writes about sports 'with the expansive eye of a social and cultural critic' (Wall Street Journal). In The Games he delivers a magisterial history of the biggest and most beloved sporting event of them all: the Olympics. He tells the epic story of the Games, from their reinvention in Athens in 1896 to the present day, chronicling classic moments of sporting achievement from Jesse Owens to Nadia Comaneci, the Miracle on Ice to Usain Bolt. He goes beyond the medal tables to explore how international conflicts have played out at the Olympics, including the clash of rising America with the fading British Empire, the role of the Games for fascist Germany and Italy, and the cold war and the struggles of the post-colonial world for recognition. And he tells the extraordinary story of how women fought to be included on equal terms, how the Paralympics started in the wake of World War Two, and how the Olympics have reflected changing attitudes to race and ethnicity, from African 'savages' being pitted against American students in 1904 to the Black Power salute in 1968 and beyond.