The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948 Paperback – 25 May 2009
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‘An enthralling account’(Independent)
‘A fascinating book… researched with an awesome thoroughness’(Daily Telegraph)
‘Hampton’s excellent book should be compulsory reading for everyone involved in the 2012 London Olympics’ Critic's Choice(Daily Mail)
'The tale of the Games is told here with spirit and touching humour.'
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Top Customer Reviews
Excellently researched and written, this is one of the most enjoyable non-fiction books I've picked up.
The competitors had to provide their own shorts and equipment was in short supply - the French football team did not have a football to train with and a British high jumper used to train by jumping washing lines.
Social class, racism and sexism still pervaded many aspects of society, and of course the games reflected that to some extent.
Women could not compete in races of over 200m, as it was deemed too dangerous. The equestrian competitors all had to be commissioned officers ( one competitors was stripped of his medal when it was discovered he was a sergeant) , and the South African olympic team was all white. However, as the author makes clear, this was the world in 1948 - only 3 years after the end the world war when much of the world was still reeling from its effects. The joy of sport, the friendships, rivalries and human kindness which developed, and the sense of optimism that Britain could still put on a show shine through this charming , informative and highly readable book.
Highly recommended - for readers with, or without, a passion for sport.
The `austerity games' had their share of volunteers, many of them on holiday from school. (One offered to work the night shift in the hospitality lounge knowing the phone wouldn't ring in the night so spent his time asleep, picking up a couple of hours extra pay, a free breakfast and bus pass for his trouble.) The athletes themselves also had a hard time of it, having to bring their own towels, but they were given a packed lunch for the day consisting of a cheese sandwich, an apple and an egg, and Hampton manages to convey how much certain current sports people are pampered and cosseted (and I don't mean athletes, cyclists, swimmers, etc. who are still very much approachable).
Reading this does make you wonder what it was like and whether the openness of everything was better.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good book, well worth a read
Excellent delivery, price and service
I bought this as holiday reading and found it such an engaging and well written piece of social history that I tore through it at a ferocious pace. Read morePublished 16 months ago by CathyR
As my husband and I can both remember the 1948 Olympics we found this a really interesting book with great photos.Published on 5 Aug. 2013 by Elisabeth
Fascinating book which I had read so bought this as a Christmas present for a friend. He also really enjoyed itPublished on 4 Jan. 2013 by Onny
Cards on the table: I was a 2012 sceptic, apart from pleasure at the achievements of Team GB and admiration of the Paralympians. Read morePublished on 1 Jan. 2013 by Bob Sherunkle
The book is a great price and is a fascinating insight into an Olympic games which was amazing compared to todays mammoth productions and showed the true strenght of the human... Read morePublished on 19 Sept. 2012 by Mr. B. A. Clutterbuck
The London 2012 Olympics meant that it was inevitable that authors would want to write about the previous London Olympics, and this is certainly the best of what is out there. Read morePublished on 10 Sept. 2012 by Sport Nut
arrived well packaged very promptly so i could read it during the current Olympics. Good read evocative of the times, easy reading so rattled through it but well researched. Read morePublished on 24 Aug. 2012 by bargain buster
This is a fascinating insite into the 1948 Olympics made more relevant by the memories of the 2012 Olympics. Well wotth a read.Published on 20 Aug. 2012 by Golfer Boy