Author Maraniss weaves sports, politics, and history into a tour de force about the 1960 Olympics. Along with the unforgettable characters and dramatic contests, there was a deeper meaning to those days at the dawn of the sixties. Change was everywhere. Old-boy notions of Olympic amateurism were crumbling. Rome saw the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand. In the heat of the Cold War, the city teemed with spies and rumors of defections, and every move was judged for propaganda value. While East and West Germans competed as a unified team, less than a year before the Berlin Wall, there was a dispute over the two Chinas. Fourteen nations were being born in sub-Saharan Africa. There was increasing pressure to provide equal rights for blacks and women. The world as we know it was coming into view.--From publisher description.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 436-460) and index.
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