New Books Examine Games History, Personalities

(ATR) The latest edition of an encyclopedia of Olympic history comes out in time for the Games, as does the paperback edition of an icon's autobiography ... a Pulitzer-prize winning author explores the firsts at the Rome Games ... while another book appraises the 1980 boycott from the athlete point of view.

Visitors check out books at a stand of the Leipzig Book Fair on March 13, 2008 at the fair grounds in Leipzig, eastern Germany. From March 13 to 16, 2008, more than 2,300 exhibitors from 39 countries present the latest products of the publishing and media sector. This year's partner country of the fair is Croatia.  AFP PHOTO    DDP/SEBASTIAN WILLNOW    GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read SEBASTIAN WILLNOW/AFP/Getty Images)
Visitors check out books at a stand of the Leipzig Book Fair on March 13, 2008 at the fair grounds in Leipzig, eastern Germany. From March 13 to 16, 2008, more than 2,300 exhibitors from 39 countries present the latest products of the publishing and media sector. This year's partner country of the fair is Croatia. AFP PHOTO DDP/SEBASTIAN WILLNOW GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read SEBASTIAN WILLNOW/AFP/Getty Images)

“The Complete Book of the Olympics" 2008 Edition by David Wallechinsky and Jaime Loucky

Olympic fans eagerly await each new edition of this book, which Wallechinsky introduced in 1984. It contains statistics, including the top eight finishers in every event at every Olympics, as well as colorful anecdotes, interesting facts and examinations of issues such as amateurism and doping. Read about Michael Phelps' exploits at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the Swedish rider who lost a dressage silver medal in 1932 because judges said he was making illegal clicking noises to his horse, or just find out which country had the most consecutive boycotts (Albania, 1976-88). The Beijing edition also includes descriptions of rules and scoring in every sport.

Published by Aurum Press Ltd.

1,182 pages

$29.95

ISBN: 978-1-84513-330-6

Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World by David Maraniss

The Pulitzer-prize winning author of books about Vince Lombardi, Roberto Clemente and Bill Clinton was drawn to the 1960 Olympics by its characters, drama and scope. Rome featured the first doping scandal, first commercially televised Summer Games, first athlete paid by a shoe company, and of course, the larger-than-life personalities of Wilma Rudolph, Rafer Johnson and Cassius Clay, who would later become Muhammad Ali. Maraniss also delves into race relations, the Cold War and amateurism¬ - weaving politics and culture together. On his Web site, Maraniss said of the Rome 1960 Games, "For better and worse, one could see the modern world as we know it today coming into view."

Published by Simon & Schuster

478 pages

$26.95

ISBN: 978-1-4165-3407-5

Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli

The arrival of this book couldn't have been timelier. It came out amid rumblings of a possible boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and underscored precisely who would be hurt by such an action: the athletes. The Caraccioli brothers reveal the heartbreak, sacrifice and anger of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team through stories about athletes such as swimmer Sue Walsh, gymnast Ron Galimore and wrestler Gene Mills. Never heard of them? That's because they didn't get their chance to appear on the world stage. The foreword is by Walter F. Mondale, then the vice president of the United States.

Published by New Chapter Press

268 pages

$25.95

ISBN: 978-0942257403

Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith by Tommie Smith with David Steele

Now out in paperback, Smith's autobiography explores his life leading up to the fateful day he raised a black-gloved fist at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and what happened afterward. Smith won the Olympic 200-meter dash in world-record time, then he and bronze medalist John Carlos stood on the victory podium and gave what was seen throughout the world as a "Black Power" salute. Smith, who received death threats, dispels lingering myths that he was a member of the Black Panthers and that his medals were taken away. Despite what he calls "painful backlash," he eventually became an educator and coach.

Published by Temple University Press

288 pages

$16.95

ISBN: 978-1592136407

Edited by Trista McGlammery

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