Despite being framed by messages of global unity, there is always a gap between the glamour and spectacle of the Olympics and the reality of the ordinary people affected by the event. From debt and environmental devastation, to draconian security measures, surveillance, and the militarization of public space, the Games are often aggravators of, not saviors from, political and economic crises. Furthermore, the Olympics have a checkered, sometimes scandalous, political history.
In his book Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics (with a foreword by Dave Zirin), Jules Boykoff, a former US Olympic team member, takes readers from the event’s nineteenth-century origins, through the Games’ flirtation with Fascism, and into the contemporary era of corporate control. Along the way he recounts vibrant alt-Olympic movements, such as the Workers’ Games and Women’s Games of the 1920s and 1930s as well as athlete-activists and political movements that stood up to challenge the Olympic machine.
Get a copy of this no-holds barred, critical political history of the modern Olympic Games for 50% off for the duration of the Winter Olympics, until Sunday, February 25 at 11:59pm EST.[book-strip index="1" style="buy"]