Sports and History

Andrew Maraniss. Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany (Philomel, 2019)

Follows the game of basketball from its invention to the first Olympic tournament 45 years later, set against the harrowing backdrop of of the rise of the Nazis in Germany and Hitler’s attempt to use the 1936 Berlin Olympics to sell the world on the accomplishments of his brutal regime. The story flows from the racism athletes faced, not just in Germany but the United States as well, to the burning question of the day: should, or even can, sports and politics be separated? Can a bunch of factory and odd-jobs workers take the court at the worlds greatest sports event and just play ball?


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