Sunday, February 18, 2007

Jesse Owens

A review I wrote was published today in the Raleigh News & Observer. The book was Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics, by Jeremy Schaap. They titled the review Racing into history: Jesse Owens proved the lie of Hitler's racial theories at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and actually made it the lead article. This is how it begins...

The year was 1936. The place was Hitler's Berlin. The man was Jesse Owens, the African-American track and field star from rural Alabama who won gold in four events and broke records in all but one (that would be the 100 meters, in which his record time wasn't allowed because the judges concluded the tailwind must have aided him). We all remember that he rolled over Nazi racist propaganda like a freight train and secured a place as one of sports most enduring figures. Those are the familiar facts. The story behind that performance is considerably richer, though, as Jeremy Schaap reminds us in his new biography..."

And then it goes on. If you're interested in the book's strength's and weaknesses click on the link above. It'll take you to my two cents about it.



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