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on 22 September 2012
This book is of course particularly interesting in the light of the 2012 London Olympics but the similarities are greatly outweighed by the differences. True, there were some initial 'naysayers' in both cases, but the 2012 Olympics were far better organised.

The author has obviously put a large amount of work and meticulous research into this worthy volume. He makes one or two mistakes, for example confusing squash and racquets, and saying that JWHT Douglas was at Fettes (he was at Felsted), but this is more than made up for by the mass of facts and detail.

Arguably it's a bit too detailed. It becomes a bit turgid in parts, like reports of school sports days, though the description of the marathon is good. It also sheds light on some fascinating aspects. Various people competed in very different sports. There were sports like tug of war which would certainly not be included now. Sometimes countries were represented by two or more teams. The games were hindered by appalling weather. There is no direct mention of drugs, but 'fake amateurism' was a problem, as was gambling: bookmakers seem to have been involved, along with allegations of race fixing.

Finally there is a political element, with the aspirations of some soon to be independent countries (Finland, Iceland, Ireland) being denied. And a recurring theme is that of antagonism between Great Britian and the USA. The Olympics did not bring the nations together as might have been hoped.
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on 23 September 2012
Obviously this year is one in which the Olympics has loomed large in all our lives. That makes this a particularly interesting read.

It is a comprehensive account of the first London Olympics. As well as a full account of the key moments, it gives loads of good background to the birth of the modern games.

With memories of London 2012 fresh in the mind, the stark contrasts between then and now are absorbing. Some interesting photo's are included as well as good lists of events and results.

If you are interested in sport, it's well worth reading.
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on 30 August 2012
This book attempts to give a historical review of the 1908 Olympics. But so much went wrong in the organisation of these Games that this constitutes a highly entertaining read. Issues included disputes about the right type of boots to be worn in the tug of war, problems with the power boat racing - yes this was an Olympic event then; the routing of the marathon, cyclists colliding with officials, the lack of cleaning arrangemnts for the Olympic pool.....
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on 6 August 2013
but this had lots of interesting facts. Could have done with a stronger edit as some people were referred to in several chapters with no linkage and some facts repeated but overall was entertaining.
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on 24 January 2013
interesting, but not superb.Not perhaps exactly that which I was expecting. None the less an interesting read.Not for lending on!!
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on 31 August 2012
Downloaded this `free' during the 2012 Games as it was topical. So glad I did. It is a fascinating read detailing the ill feeling, mistrust & disputes between Team USA & the GB teams & British Officials at the time. Given recent events at 2012 between USA & China in the swimming it was interesting to note that USA has not curtailed their enthusiasm for winning at all costs since 1908! Read about how the USA `Won' the Marathon. It is a fantastically detailed account of those involved, their back grounds & what happened to them in the aftermath. Find out who won the Tug-of-war Gold Medal! My only niggle was that photos of some of the Athletes are right at the back of the book, & I mean right at the back! I would suggest either moving them to the appropriate pages or inserting a quick Link within the Kindle version. That beside this is a wonderful read which I found I could not put down.
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on 23 September 2014
Really interesting.
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