Color photos give this brief survey of the ancient and modern Games a bright, attractive look. The large-type text doesn't allow much room for detail, but Tatlow has generally chosen well which facts and performers to highlight: who the first winners were, in both 776 B.C. and A.D. 1896; how both national politics and the spirit of international cooperation have affected the Games; some of the problems faced and solved by the Games' organizers; and, of course, a catalog of the most renowned athletes. Illustrations show women as well as men competing, and supplement the text rather than repeat it. There are few shots of winter sports, no mention of substance abuse, and no charts of events or medalists--although the author does discuss amateurism and the long training athletes go through. A worthy replacement for Walsh's First Book of the Olympic Games (1971). Glossary; bibliography; index.