This book is an interesting, and long overdue, chronicle of not just the 1936 Olympic Games themselves (held in Hitler's Germany) but also of the many machinations that went on behind the scenes to ensure that the Games would be held despite the Nazis' treatment of the Jews and others considered to be undesirable.
Thus, despite the fact that the Nazis had passed the Nuremberg Laws in 1935 (forbidding, e.g., marriage or sexual relations between Jews and Germans), the International Olympic Committee worked with the Nazis to ensure that the games went on and colloborated in pretending that there was no actual discrimination.
In this regard, placed in a particularly bad light are American sports officials who more often than not were guilty of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism against their own citizens. (E.g., much to do was made in the American press about the (apparently false) story that Hitler snubbed Jesse Owens by refusing to shake his hand, yet Jesse Owens came home to a country whose citizens as a whole treated him worse than the Germans he dealt with during the Olympics.)
In the end, however, despite all the much-deserved hoopla about Jesse Owens, the real winners of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games were the Nazis as they impressed the world with their efficiency (a record number of countries, over 4 dozen, participated in the Games) and the Games were a propaganda bonanza for them. For example, the Nazis instituted the practice of carrying the Olympic torch from Olympia to the site of the games, an event which they heavily publicised. In addition, their organization of the Games was impeccable (including premier housing for the athletes), their Olympic Stadium (holding over 100,000 spectators) was a monumental showpiece, and the Games even turned a profit. In this respect, perhaps the most telling moment of the Games was the opening ceremonies when the speaker's podium was decorated not just with the familiar Olympic symbol of five interlocking Olympic rings but a giant German eagle clutching the Olympic rings in its talons.
Interspersed within the story of the politics surrounding these Olympics is a treasure trove of information about the background of many of the athletes (including their personal prejudices) and the events at these Games.
Overall, the book is a very well written and interesting account of the 1936 Olympic Games that exposes much of the hyprocrisy that allowed them to go on after the Nazis came to power and also reveals much about many of the athletes who participated in the Games.