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The Games

A Global History of the Olympics

David Goldblatt (Author)

Overview | Formats

“A people’s history of the Olympics.”—New York Times Book Review

A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

The Games is best-selling sportswriter David Goldblatt’s sweeping, definitive history of the modern Olympics. Goldblatt brilliantly traces their history from the reinvention of the Games in Athens in 1896 to Rio in 2016, revealing how the Olympics developed into a global colossus and highlighting how they have been buffeted by (and affected by) domestic and international conflicts. Along the way, Goldblatt reveals the origins of beloved Olympic traditions (winners’ medals, the torch relay, the eternal flame) and popular events (gymnastics, alpine skiing, the marathon). And he delivers memorable portraits of Olympic icons from Jesse Owens to Nadia Comaneci, the Dream Team to Usain Bolt.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • January 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35551-2
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 544 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth and the European Union.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Games: A Global History of the Olympics


Endorsements & Reviews

“Fascinating.” — Peter Cowie, Wall Street Journal

“Nuanced.… [W]ry, philosophical.” — Aram Goudsouzian, Washington Post

“[A] bracingly debunking history.” — David Runciman, Guardian

“Goldblatt is a wise, thoughtful, sometimes caustic observer.” — Boston Globe

“Elegant and ambitious.” — Economist

“[An] excellent, pacy, anecdote-studded history of the modern Games.” — Giles Smith, The Times (UK)

“A timely and impressively expansive view of arguably the world’s most beloved sporting event.… [Goldblatt] has created the definitive book on the Olympics, which should be on the reading list of anyone with a passion for learning the full story of the Olympic games.” — Russell P. Gantos, New York Journal of Books

“Tak[es] readers through decades of iconic athleticism, complicated global politics, and increasing commercialism—all of which go into making the Olympic games what they are today.” — Bustle

“[A] bracing corrective… [that] retains space for the extraordinary and inspirational in the arena.” — David Horspool, Spectator

“A tour of world history through the lens of the Olympic Games.… Goldblatt’s account of the history of performance-enhancing drugs is particularly striking.” — Charlie Goffen, Huffington Post

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