THE STORY OF THE OLYMPICS by Dave Anderson

THE STORY OF THE OLYMPICS

Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Pulitzer Prizewinner Anderson presents the Olympics in a primer that is one-half history, one-half up-close-and-personal sketches of the athletes. The historical trail of the games leads to the occasional gem: Gold, silver, and bronze medals weren't awarded until the London games of 1908; Benjamin Spock competed as a rower in the 1924 games, long before he achieved fame in the field of pediatrics. It is the political perspective readers gain that is far more rewarding: Anderson shows how, despite the spirit of international cooperation, the Olympics have often been perverted for attempts at political gain, as during Hitler's 1936 Berlin games, and again during the 1972 Munich games, when terrorists murdered Israeli athletes. The discussion is hampered, however, by an uninspired chronological structure that shrinks each of the games down to a few paragraphs, reducing their drama. Likewise, the thumbnail sketches of such athletic stars as Dan Jansen, Peggy Fleming, and Carl Lewis (who also wrote the introduction) are less revealing than magazine articles, offering no sense of the inspiration that drove them to become Olympians. Anderson rushes over fundamental aspects of their stories while incorporating--not always smoothly--information about the development of their sports. (b&w photos, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-688-12954-4
Page count: 117pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1996