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Get an historical perspective of power politics in international sport,
This review is from: The Lords of the Rings: Power, Money and Drugs in the Modern Olympics (Hardcover)
When you first start reading this book you'll probably be astounded by the naivety of the authors' righteous indignation. International sport is corrupt? Shock, horror, hold the front page!
But view this book in context, this is 1992, David Conn is in short trousers, David Yallop is still writing about a murdered pope, and John Sugden & Alan Tomlinson are squeezing their zits. This book was groundbreaking, like Conn's "The Football Business", and was indeed revelatory laying the ground work for those who came afterwards.
The book looks at not just the Olympics but at international sport, and the cartel that runs it. All the usual suspects are all present - Havelange, Samaranch, Nebiolo, Nally and the ubiquitous Horst Dassler. The book explains, probably back in 1992 for the first time, how Dassler's shady shennanigans in Herzogenaurach secured the influence of Havelange and how Havelange begat Samaranch and, well you get the idea.
International sport is revealed for what it is, one big marketing junket for Adidas and Coca-Cola, but remember this - Havelange was elected democratically on a 6 point manifesto, 5 of which he succeeded in implementing. The money had to come from somewhere. So before you look with disgusted distain on the new nobility of sport remember that not the whole world sees things the same as us straight-laced, straight bat Englishmen.
How do I rate this book? Well, this a tough one. If you want in-depth, incisive analysis then there are much better and up to date books out there, but I would suggest that this book is best read with an historical perspective, this is a contemporary expose of a soprting world still in transition. "Know your past and you know your future" as they say, read this book and then consider how sport has developed since.