Thursday, August 21, 2008

Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics

The Olympic Games is such a incredible and exciting event. Even if you're not a big sports fan, it's hard not to get caught up in the drama and achievements of the Games. Regardless of backstage controversies, it's usually an inspiring event.

If you want stories of courage and drama, you really want to read books on Olympic history. One of the best is Sue Macy's Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics. Macy doesn't merely give an annotated chronology of the Games; the early history of the modern Games is retold in captivating detail. Sections on "Breakthrough Athletes," "Controversies Cast a Shadow," a beautiful section on "Unlikely Heroes," (Olympians who demonstrated the true message of the Olympics) and "Olympic Snapshots" round out this enchanting book. Although this is undoubtedly a celebration of the Games, the more disturbing and sobering aspects of the Games, such as the "Nazi Olympics," drug abuse, the consequences of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and South African apartheid on the Games, and hostilities between nations spilling out on the playing field are not swept under the rug. This is an inspiring book that you will find difficult to put down once started!

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