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No story so richly illustrates the interaction between sport and politics as the story of Jewish athletes and the Games. Each major event at the Games related to the Jews is covered in-depth, including: the story of the Jewish-Hungarian wrestler Károly Kárpáti in Berlin, 1936; the German-Jewish high-jumper Gretel Bergmann, who was callously exploited, then discarded, by the Germans; the American sprinters, Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller; and the legendary Mark Spitz. From the first Olympics in Athens in 1896, through to the disasters and triumphs of Munich 1972 and beyond, Jews and the Olympic Games, which features a list of the more-than 250 Jewish medallists at the Games, is a powerful account of the conflict between sport and politics.
The 1936 Olympic Games played a key role in the development of both Hitler’s Third Reich and international sporting competition. This volume gathers original essays by modern scholars from the Games’ most prominent participating countries and lays out the issues -- sporting as well as political -- surrounding individual nations’ involvement. The Nazi Olympics opens with an analysis of Germany’s preparations for the Games and the attempts by the Nazi regime to allay the international concerns about Hitler’s racist ideals and expansionist ambitions. Essays follow on the United States, Great Britain, and France -- three first-class Olympian nations with misgivings about participation -- as well as German ally Italy and future ally Japan. Other essays examine the issues at stake in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands, which opposed Hitler’s politics, despite embodying his Aryan ideal. Challenging the view of sport as a trivial pursuit, this collection reveals exactly how high the political stakes were in 1936 and how the Nazi Olympics distilled many of the critical geopolitical issues of the time into a contest that was anything but trivial.
This study examines the role of modern sports in constructing national identities and the way leaders have exploited sports to achieve domestic and foreign policy goals. The book focuses on the development of national sporting cultures in Great Britain and the United States, the particular processes by which the rest of Europe and the world adopted or rejected their games, and the impact of sports on domestic politics and foreign affairs. Teams competing in international sporting events provide people a shared national experience and a means to differentiate “us” from “them.” Particular attention is paid to the transnational influences on the construction of sporting communities, and why some areas resisted dominant sporting cultures while others adopted them and changed them to fit their particular political or societal needs. A recurrent theme of the book is that as much as they try, politicians have been frustrated in their attempts to achieve political ends through sport. The book provides a basis for understanding the political, economic, social, and diplomatic contexts in which these games were played, and to present issues that spur further discussion and research.
Like religion, playing and watching sports is a deeply meaningful, celebratory ritual enjoyed by millions across the world. The first scholarly work designed for use in both religion and sports courses, this collection develops and then applies a theoretically grounded approach to studying sports engagement globally and its relationship to modern-day issues of violence, difference, social protest, and belonging. Case studies explore the place of sports in mainstream faiths, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity, and lesser-known religious groups, particularly in Africa. It covers football, baseball, and basketball but also archery, soccer, bullfighting, judo, and track. Essays reflect all skill levels, from amateur to professional, and find surprising affinities among practices and cultures in locations as disparate as Germany and Japan, Spain and Saudi Arabia. Thoroughly examining a range of phenomena, this collection fully captures the unique overlap of two universal institutions and their interplay with human society, politics, and culture.
For some, the connection between Jews and athletics might seem far-fetched. But in fact, as is highlighted by the fourteen chapters in this collection, Jews have been participating in -- and thinking about -- sports for more than two thousand years. The articles in this volume scan a wide chronological range: from the Hellenistic period (first century BCE) to the most recent basketball season. The range of athletes covered is equally broad: from participants in Roman-style games to wrestlers, boxers, fencers, baseball players, and basketball stars. The authors of these essays, many of whom actively participate in athletics themselves, raise a number of intriguing questions, such as: What differing attitudes toward sports have Jews exhibited across periods and cultures? Is it possible to be a "good Jew" and a "great athlete"? In what sports have Jews excelled, and why? How have Jews overcome prejudices on the part of the general populace against a Jewish presence on the field or in the ring? In what ways has Jewish participation in sports aided, or failed to aid, the perception of Jews as "good Germans," "good Hungarians," "good Americans," and so forth? This volume, which features a number of illustrations (many of them quite rare), is not only accessible to the general reader, but also contains much information of interest to the scholar in Jewish studies, American studies, and sports history.
The SAGE Handbook of Human Rights will comprise a two volume set consisting of more than 50 original chapters that clarify and analyze human rights issues of both contemporary and future importance. The Handbook will take an inter-disciplinary approach, combining work in such traditional fields as law, political science and philosophy with such non-traditional subjects as climate change, demography, economics, geography, urban studies, mass communication, and business and marketing. In addition, one of the aspects of mainstreaming is the manner in which human rights has come to play a prominent role in popular culture, and there will be a section on human rights in art, film, music and literature. Not only will the Handbook provide a state of the art analysis of the discipline that addresses the history and development of human rights standards and its movements, mechanisms and institutions, but it will seek to go beyond this and produce a book that will help lead to prospective thinking.
Sports, and in particular the Olympic Games, are enjoying a rapid increase in interest among social scientists worldwide, who see them as important "public events." This volume offers the first analysis of the Winter Olympic Games, primarily based on the Lillehammer Games of 1994. The authors identify "olympism" as a key agent in the modernization process and, more specifically, ask how the winter games, as a mega-event, relate to Norwegian culture and ethos. The authors of these specially commissioned papers examine various aspects of this encounter, including problems such as gender as related to nature and culture, masculinity and heroism, national identity and invention of tradition, the impact of venue construction on a traditional cultural landscape, the ideological criticism of the I.O.C. as it emerged, dramatically, before the opening of the Games and the conflict between the Norwegians and the Greeks over the ritual status of the two flames used during the torch relay, one from Olympia and one from Morgedalin Telemark, "the cradle of skiing."

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