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Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World
Rome 1960 The Olympics That Changed the World
Author: David Maraniss
From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author David Maraniss, a groundbreaking book that weaves sports, politics, and history into a tour de force about the 1960 Rome Olympics, eighteen days of theater, suspense, victory, and defeat — David Maraniss draws compelling portraits of the athletes competing in Rome, including some of the ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781416534075
ISBN-10: 1416534075
Publication Date: 7/1/2008
Pages: 496
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 9 ratings
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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demiducky25 avatar reviewed Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World on + 161 more book reviews
I am surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book! There was just something about the writing style that I really enjoyed and found it to be quite entertaining. There were a few places where it felt more like a novel than a pure history book. Maraniss moves beyond the sports statistics and puts the 1960 Rome Olympics in their social history context. He spends quite a bit of time drawing parallels between the Olympics and their role in the Cold War (both Soviets and USA using it as a propaganda device), illustrating the respect African American athletes had at the Games but lacked at home, and the increasing participation of women in the Games. He also spends time focusing on the unified German team as East & West Germany becomes increasingly divided as a nation, the role of the "two Chinas," and how this would be the last Olympics South Africa would participate in until apartheid was eliminated. Maraniss tries to touch upon as many sports as possible in as much detail as possible, though much of the focus is on the track & field events (particularly the USA women's team). As someone who is interested in track, that was fine with me. Though I was surprised by how gymnastics was only briefly mentioned a few times, despite the author mentioning that it had the most medals to win. Perhaps because he is focusing primarily on the United States team and he mentioned that USA's representation in gymnastics in 1960 was minimal? What I found most fascinating was reading about the lives of the Olympic athletes and what they had to overcome to get there. Wilma Rudolph's story was particularly interesting as she overcame childhood polio with her legs in braces to become a world-class runner. All-in-all, this was a fascinating read and I'm really glad that I picked it up! :-)

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