Nazi Games by David Clay Large
The Olympics of 1936

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Athletics and politics collide in a critical event for Nazi Germany and the contemporary world.

The torch relay―that staple of Olympic pageantry―first opened the summer games in 1936 in Berlin. Proposed by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, the relay was to carry the symbolism of a new Germany across its route through southeastern and central Europe. Soon after the Wehrmacht would march in jackboots over the same terrain.

The Olympic festival was a crucial part of the Nazi regime's mobilization of power. Nazi Games offers a superb blend of history and sport. The narrative includes a stirring account of the international effort to boycott the games, derailed finally by the American Olympic Committee and the determination of its head, Avery Brundage, to participate. Nazi Games also recounts the dazzling athletic feats of these Olympics, including Jesse Owens's four gold-medal performances and the marathon victory of Korean runner Kitei Son, the Rising Sun of imperial Japan on his bib. 25 b/w photographs

About David Clay Large

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David Clay Large is professor of history at Montana State University and the author of Berlin (2000) and Where Ghosts Walked: Muniche(tm)s Road to the Third Reich (1997).
Published January 1, 2007 by Norton. 401 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors, Travel. Non-fiction

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(Invited to attend a commemorative ceremony in 1986, she replied, “Although fifty years have passed since my exclusion from the German Olympic team in Berlin, my disappointment and bitterness have only slightly abated.”) As Large (And the World Closed Its Doors, 2003, etc.) shows, the exclusion o...

Feb 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936

The New York Times

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In the autumn of 1945, a British tour by the Moscow Dynamos soccer team prompted George Orwell to remark that so far from furthering the brotherhood of man, “sport is an unfailing cause of ill will.” But then we already knew “from concrete examples (the 1936 Olympic Games, for instance) that inte...

Jul 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936

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