The Games

A Global History of the Olympics

3.34 based on 69 ratings & 17 reviews on Goodreads.com

The Olympic Games have become the single greatest festival of a universal and cosmopolitan humanity. Seventeen days of sporting competition watched and followed on every continent and in every country on the planet. Simply, the greatest show on earth. Yet when the modern games were inaugurated in Athens in 1896, the founders thought them a "display of manly virtue", an athletic celebration of the kind of amateur gentleman that would rule the world. How was such a ritual invented? Why did it prosper and how has it been so utterly transformed?

In The Games, David Goldblatt - winner of the 2015 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award - takes on a breathtakingly ambitious search for the answers and brilliantly unravels the complex strands of this history. Beginning with the olympics as a sporting side show at the great Worlds Fairs of the Belle Epoque and transformation into a global media spectacular care of Hollywood and the Nazi party, The Games shows how sport and the olympics been a battlefield in the global Cold War, a defining moment for of epoch social and economic change in host cities and countries, and a theatre of resistance for women and athletes colour once excluded from the show.

Illuminated with dazzling vignettes from over a century of olympic completion - this stunningly researched history captures the excitement of sporting brilliance and the kaleidoscopic experience of the Games. It shows us how this sporting spectacle has come to reflect the world we hope to inhabit and the one we actually live in.

Gracefully written and compellingly argued, this is one of the best books of the year and one of the best sports books ever written.
Kirkus

About David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt was born in 1965 and inherited, for his sins, Tottenham Hotspurs from his father. He has published highly acclaimed books of football: The Ball is Round, an astonishingly ambitious global history of the game, Futebol Nation, a footballing history of Brazil, and The Game of Our Lives about the meaning and making of English football. He also edited the World Football Yearbook, made sporting documentaries for BBC Radio, reviewed sports books for the TLS and the Guardian and taught the sociology of sport at Bristol University, De Montford University, Leicester and Pitzer College, Los Angeles.

Read More

From our blogs

Sports books guaranteed <br />to get you moving

Sports books guaranteed
to get you moving

10 June 2016

Inspirational sporting reads that are guaranteed to have you reaching for your trainers.

Read
The most incredible moments in Olympic history

The most incredible moments in Olympic history

13 July 2016

By Pan Macmillan

David Goldblatt, author of the definitive sporting, social and political history of the modern Olympic Games, The Games shares what he believes to be the most significant moments from the greatest show on earth.

Read

Upcoming events

David Goldblatt to speak at the Ham & High Literary Festival

David Goldblatt to speak at the Ham & High Literary Festival

Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival

Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival
Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival South Hampstead High School 3 Maresfield Gardens , NW3 5SS UNITED KINGDOM

14:30 on 25 September 2016 - 14:30 on 25 September 2016

2016-09-25T14:30:00.0000000Z 2016-09-25T14:30:00.0000000Z

David Goldblatt will be talking about his latest book, The Games. A definitive political and social history of the modern Olympic Games.

View
The Rise and Fall: Sport and Society

The Rise and Fall: Sport and Society

Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival

Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival
Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival South Hampstead High School 3 Maresfield Gardens , NW3 5SS UNITED KINGDOM

14:30 on 25 September 2016 - 14:30 on 25 September 2016

2016-09-25T14:30:00.0000000Z 2016-09-25T14:30:00.0000000Z

David Goldblatt will be talking about his latest book, The Games. A definitive political and social history of the modern Olympic Games.

View