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Berlin Games: How Hitler Stole the Olympic Dream Paperback – 12 Jul 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; paperback / softback edition (12 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719567742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719567742
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 449,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Guy Walters is the author and editor of nine books, which include four wartime thrillers, the critically acclaimed Berlin Games and his latest work, Hunting Evil. With James Owen he co-edited The Voice of War, an anthology of Second World War memoirs. Shortlisted for the 2006 William Hill Sports Book of the Year and the NASSS's 2007 Outstanding Book award, Guy has been an author since he left The Times of London, where he was a feature writer and a commissioning editor.
His books have been translated into several languages, and Hunting Evil has been and will be released in the UK, the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Holland, France, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Romania.
Guy writes for a handful of UK newspapers and magazines, and is a frequent contributor to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2. He regularly gives talks to societies up and down the country. When he finds the time, Guy is currently working on his PhD at Newcastle University under the supervision of Professor Tim Kirk.
His wife, Annabel Venning, is also an author, and they live in Wiltshire in the southwest of England with their two children, William, 7, and Alice, 5. In his spare time, he is a keen player of croquet and pétanque. Further biographical information (most of it correct) can be found on the wikipedia.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Guy Walter's previous books: (.)

Masterfully crafted and genuinely frightening (Daily Express)

'Gripping' (Daily Telegraph)

'A classic page-turner' (The Times)

'Convincing and intelligent' (Daily Mail)

'Gripping, ingenious ... compelling ... reminiscent of le Carre' (Literary Review)

'Thoroughly readable' (The Spectator)

'Extraordinary' (Sunday Times)

Praise for Berlin Games (.)

A comprehensive account of the events leading up to the games (Observer)

'Amongst several new titles commemorating the Berlin gathering, Walters' is perhaps the definitive account, not only shattering well-entrenched myths... but shedding new light on the numerous dodgy deals struck by the Nazis to ensure the games went ahead as planned.' (Good Book Guide)

'The joy of this book will be the reliving of the 1936 summer Olympics, which Walters evokes with all the cut and dash of an accomplished sports writer' (Literary Review)

'It is a tribute to Guy Walters that the real story continues to shock 70 years on' (Jewish Chronicle)

'A panoramic perspective of the most controversial sporting event of the 20th century... fascinating' (The Times)

'A fascinating, broad canvas that brings into sharp focus the deadlier political games being played at the time' (Metro)

'A superb account of the hijacking of the Olympic Games by the Nazis' (Nick Pitt, The Sunday Times)

Book Description

The compelling history of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games - a cauldron of discord that forecast the horrors of the Second World War

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kristopher Gray on 27 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having read all of Guy Walters previous works of fiction, which were centred around World War 2, I was interested to see how he would deal with the facts rather than the fiction. I was not to be disappointed, he had obviously spent a considerable amount of time in meticulous research. The background of the years leading up to the games and how the various countries vetted their teams to prevent upsetting [...] was a real eye opener.

This is not just a sports history book it is a history of a very important part of the prelude to the most significant event of the last 2000 years. How the rest of the world, despite it's protestations, knew precisely what was happening in Germany and chose to ignore it.

If you haven't read anything before on this subject I suggest you start here.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wingate on 30 July 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
if you were to describe a country as guikty of rascism,anti semetism and outright prejudice in 1935 you would think that this was a fair description of Germany.Well it also neatly fits America at that time.The behaviour of some American sports officials defies belief,as this book highlights the events suurounding the 1936 Olympics.The book is an invaluable insight into the Nazi regime,and everything they did to pull the wool over the eyes of the leaders of democratic countries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T Whaley on 23 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very detailed, but exactly what I wanted.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Bald Heid VINE VOICE on 26 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
Like most people my age I had heard/read/seen snippets about Hitlers Olympics and how Jesse Owens spoilt them with his four medal haul. Thus debunking the myth of Aryan supremacy once and for all.

Walters sets the scene in great detail exploring the political shenanigans and boycott threats prior to the games. I thought this less interesting than the description of the games themselves however this background gave a much needed sense of perspective. The Nazi regimes cynical attempts to prove that Jews were treated civilly and could compete on merit, the odious Avery Brundages machinations within the US Olympic organisation and ultimately the IOC. Walters renders this phoney war in meticulous detail and sets the scene for the events (winter and summer).

The descriptions of the winter games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen which remain very much under the shadow of the Berlin showpiece summer games are incredibly evocative. In some respects proving to be a dry run for the summer games and proving to all that Germany were capable of hosting such events. This also provided "evidence" to apologists and fascists alike that the Nazis were fine civilised fellows.

The main event is undoubtedly the summer games in Berlin, so stage managed by the Nazi administration. The courage of some and the craven herd instinct of others are equally fascinating. Walters is brave enough himself to challenge the notion that Hitler stormed out in disgust at the superhuman performances of "Der Neger" Owens. Walters describes the conditions in the athletes village in great detail and the athletes slightly naive recollections of the overall experience.
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