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Power, Politics, and the Olympic Games offers a comprehensive history of the Olympic movement. It is not a record book full of sterile results and statistics. Rather, it is an insightful and accessible exploration of the history of the Olympics and how big a role politics has played since the modern Games began in 1896. The book covers the entire 20th century and includes Sydney's bid and preparation for their 2000 Games.
This book provides an analytical and judicious interpretation of the myths surrounding the games and shows you the political and economic realities as ritual, sports, politics, and show business are combined in the largest regularly scheduled international gathering in the world. You'll learn who serves on the International Olympic Committee and what they do, how the various host cities are chosen, and even which countries, teams, and athletes get to participate. The unique visibility of the Games make them an attractive target for political and social causes, and Power, Politics, and the Olympic Games discusses in detail many of these controversies.
Many of today's controversies are not all that new, and Power, Politics, and the Olympic Games offers you a unique historical perspective into the who, what, when, where, how, and—most importantly—why behind the many disputes and conflicts that have plagued the modern Games.
Part I: The Formative Years Chapter 1. The Olympic Family Chapter 2. Coubertin’s Creation Chapter 3. Starting Anew Chapter 4. The Berlin Games
Part II: The Brundage Era Chapter 5. Another War Chapter 6. Entry of the Soviets Chapter 7. The Cold War Arena Chapter 8. Brundage: The Idealist at the Helm Chapter 9. The Issue of Political Discrimination Chapter 10. Brundage’s Troubled Last Term
Part III: “Opening” the Games Chapter 11. Seeking the Lee Chapter 12. Boycott! Chapter 13. …and Again! Chapter 14. Reconstructing the Olympic Edifice Chapter 15. The Last Cold War Games Chapter 16. The Collapse of the Soviet Union Chapter 17. The Capitalist Centennial Games Chapter 18. From Atlanta to Nagano Chapter 19. Entering the 21st Century
Alfred Erich Senn is professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he has taught since 1961.
He received a PhD in East European history at Columbia University in 1958. Senn is the author of eight books, several monographs, and numerous scholarly articles. His book, Gorbachev’s Failure in Lithuania, was awarded the Edgar Anderson Presidential Prize by the American Association of Baltic Studies in 1996.
Professor Senn lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, LaVonne.
“A useful and very reliable history of the modern Olympics.”
Bob Costas -- NBC Sports
“Power, Politics, and the Olympic Games comfortably weaves together the many perspectives of the Olympic movement and the Games.”
Peter V. Ueberroth -- President, Los Angeles (1984) Olympic Organizing Committee
“Extensive use of the Avery Brundage archive and access to Soviet scholarship help differentiate this broad survey of Olympic history from most other works. There is a wealth of information that will be the starting point for serious Olympic scholars of the future.”
Richard W. Pound -- Vice President, International Olympic Committee
“This scholarly yet very readable book, which explores what the author calls a clash of myth and reality, makes it clear that the invasion of the Olympic Games by politics is by no means a new phenomenon . . . that it was there from the movement’s infancy. It became more overt, more thuggish, more multidimensional with the years, but as early as 1908 the idealistic Baron Pierre de Coubertin was lamenting that his Games had become ‘an affair of state.’ In cataloging such aspects as the Hitler Games, the Cold War, the boycotts, terrorism, the effects of television, commercialism, and sponsorships, Senn is dry-eyed and detached. His intention is to make people aware that power and politics are integral to the Games, and that, if anything, the situation will intensify. His work is a candid, welcome addition to the literature of the Olympics."
Harry Gordon -- Australian Olympic Historian, Author of Australia and the Olympic Games