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Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World Paperback – Bargain Price, July 14, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Each chapter is like a short essay on some facet of the 1960 Olympics: the controverial decision in the men's swimming event, the Tigerbelles' encounters with racisim on their road the Olympics, the political controvery between China and Taiwan, and more. Maraniss paints a picture of the world's political and social climate to show how those factors affected the 1960 Olympics and how the 1960 Olympics affected the world.
Each story is compelling--48 years later, I feel minor outrage that Lance Larson wasn't awarded the gold for men's swimming. I understand the terror Rafer Johnson must have felt outside of Lenin Stadium when the Russian crowd surged toward him after his defeat of Kuznetsov. Maraniss deftly captures the human stories and makes this reader care. I'm only 5 chapters into the book, but I wish I could skip work today to finish the rest of the book.
Before reading this book, I hadn't watched the Olympics in over 20 years. Now, I'm psyched for 2008 Summer Olympics!
Given my own background as a journalist, I'll confess that I was puzzled by Maraniss' decision in selecting "Rome 1960" for a thick new book of nearly 500 pages (that's counting all the extras at the end). As I picked up the book, I kept asking myself: Why did he call this particular meet -- "The Olympics that Changed the World"?
As a specialist in religion and culture, I've immersed myself in histories of other Olympics: the 1924 "Chariots of Fire" Olympics, the 1936 Nazi-dominated Olympics, the 1972 Olympics when terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes - and even the 1964 Tokyo Olympics that were a milestone in global culture in part because of Kon Ichikawa's historic documentary film.
But having read Maraniss' new book, I've got to agree - Rome in 1960 ranks right up there as a milestone in world culture.
I had not considered the roles of the major players who all collided in Rome that year - including the now-infamous anti-Semite and pro-Nazi American czar of the Olympics movement: Avery Brundage. If you don't find yourself drawn to "Sports" - but you are fascinated by 20th-Century history, especially the 1930s, Fascism and the Holocaust - this is a "must read" book for you.Read more ›
The 1960 Olympics was held at a time when the world was on the cusp of great change. Not only in the United States were these changes about to take place, but the entire world was on the edge, and we were beginning one of those periodic watershed eras that come along every so often. New nations in Africa were being formed. The old Colonial powers had gasped their last and were no more. Governments were changing, attitudes were changing and the world was just beginning to become wired. There were two super powers at that time, the United States and Russia. These two countries were locked in a war, the Cold War and this war was at its height. These Olympics held in Rome, had this struggle of ideas as a constant backdrop and its presents was quite significant. The two Germanys, for the first time, were acting as a single team; not having completely split as they would soon do and the entire contest was not only the United States v/s Russia, but it was East v/s West.
Racism, sexism and all the other old evils of this world were alive and well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not the most entertaining in my opinion. I don't know about the historical accuracy.Published 4 months ago by BigBuyer
This was purchased as a gift, my friend loved it, excellent price, fast deliveryPublished 12 months ago by Jaye
Good Olympic reading book. Basic reading. Lovely cover and dustcover.Published 13 months ago by kop53
well written,with a lot of details about different events. Had a lot on track and field which was of special interest to me.Published 20 months ago by Frank M. Boykin
I enjoy reading about history since my school books were written. Reflecting back on the 1960 Olympics today is thought-provoking, and the research, especially about Wilma... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Pensive Placitan
David Maraniss billed the Rome 1960 Olympics as “The Olympics That Stirred The World”, I echo the sentiments of another reviewer who argued that it was in fact the world that... Read morePublished on May 12, 2014 by Michael Griswold
David Maraniss has jumped from sports to the "real world" during his time as an author, writing books about subjects such as Vince Lombardi, Al Gore, Roberto Clemente and... Read morePublished on February 26, 2014 by WDX2BB
This was a wonderful history of not only the 1960 Olympics but what was occuring in the world during this time period.Published on January 15, 2014 by Sandi Mike