Rethinking the Olympics Cultural Histories of the Modern Games

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This anthology of essays, previously published in Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies, addresses key themes in the scholarly study of the Games. Part I of Rethinking the Olympics presents seven articles devoted to Olympic history: the Games’ legacy from antiquity, their modern evolution, and the most controversial Games of the modern era, the Berlin Games of 1936. Part II reviews the persistent problems and crises that confounded and defined the Olympic Games over time. The nine essays in this section focus on a variety of issues such as: performance enhancement; the rise of commercialism; enduring controversies in the form of leadership, corruption, and the Cold War; and the politics of hosting Olympic Games. Finally, in Part III, the future of the Modern Olympic Movement is addressed from the perspective of the rapidly accelerating and mushrooming process of globalization.

Introduction v
Part I: Setting the Stage
The Legacy of Antiquity
1. Stadium and Arena: Reflections on Greek, Roman, and
Contemporary Social History 3
Michael B. Poliakoff
2. The Olympic Games 393 A.D.–1896 A.D.: The Genealogy of
an Idea in Literature, Music, and Dance 17
Jeffrey O. Segrave
3A. On The Source of the Olympic Credo 42
David C. Young
3B. More on the Olympic Saying, It’s More Important 52
David C. Young
Modern Evolution
4. Coubertin’s Ideology of Olympism from the Perspective
of the History of Ideas 63
Sigmund Loland
5. Cosmopolitanism, Olympism, and Nationalism: A Critical Interpretation of Coubertin’s Ideal of International Sporting Life 95
William J. Morgan
The Most Controversial Games—Berlin 1936
6. France, Coubertin, and the Nazi Olympics: The Response 110
W. J. Murray
7. The Nazi Olympics: A Reinterpretation 133
James M. Pitsula

Part II: Persistent Problems, Issues, and Crises
Performance Enhancement
8. “Cells or Soaring?”: Historical Reflections on Visions of
the Body, Athletics, and Modern Olympism 165
Roberta J. Park
9. Sport, Drugs, and the Cold War: The Conundrum of
Olympic Doping Policy, 1970–1979 190
Thomas M. Hunt

The Rise of Commercialism
10. Marketing National Identity: The Olympic Games of 1932
and American Culture 212
Mark Dyreson
11. Family Feud: Revenue and IOC–USOC Relations 242
Robert K. Barney, Stephen R. Wenn, Scott G. Martyn

Enduring Controversies
12. The Rise and Fall of Soviet Olympic Champions 284
Jim Riordan
13. Persistent Resistance: Leadership Positions for Women in
Olympic Sport Governing Bodies 307
Jan Rintala and Judith A. Bischoff
14. Gifts of Corruption? Ambiguities of Obligation in the
Olympic  Movement 330
Douglas Booth

The Politics of Hosting Olympic Games
15. Olympic Hosting in Canada: Promotional Ambitions,
Political Challenges 357
David Whitson
16. The “Mormon Games”: Religion, Media, Cultural Politics
and the Salt Lake Winter Games 379
Larry R. Gerlach

Part III: Globalization and Facing the Future
17. Modern Sport and Olympic Games: The Problematic
Complexities Raised by the Dynamics of Globalization 435
Deane Neubauer

About the Authors 477
About the Editor 481
Index 483

Book Review: Wolf-Dietrich Junghanns (2012): Robert K. Barney (ed.), Rethinking the Olmypics. Cultural Histories of the Modern Games, Sport in History, 32:2, 335-339 Read the review here.

Rethinking the Olympics encompasses the history, the problems, and the outlook of the Olympics with such leading classicists as Michael Poliakoff and David Young, historians Mark Dyreson, Larry Gerlach, Roberta Park, and political scientist Deane Neubauer. A variety of viewpoints, in historical context, are presented in this outstanding anthology on the place of the Olympics as the leading international sport event from antiquity to pondering their future.”

~ Ronald A. Smith, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Exercise and Sport Science
Pennsylvania State University

“Bob Barney has been a tower of support for Olympic scholarship for decades . . . . This collection constitutes . . . the most important academic and public policy issues affecting the Olympic Movement today. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to know about or bid for an Olympic Games today.”

~ Bruce Kidd, O.C., Ph.D. Professor and Dean
Faculty of Physical Education and Health
University of Toronto