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Know your Olympics

From Athens 1896 to Athens 2004, the best Olympic books, films and websites

By David Goldblatt   August 2008

Also in Prospect’s guide to the Olympics: David Goldblatt’s guide to the political and cultural landscape of the Games; and a special feature on China’s critics—China’s most famous democratic activist, Wei Jingsheng, speaks to author Christian Tyler, and Chinese entrepreneur Jimmy Lai reports on the moral crises of his nation

Athens 1896

The first modern Olympics were only rescued from the chaotic morass of Greek politics by the intervention of the Greek royal family. Of Danish descent and only recently installed, they saw the games as a perfect opportunity to establish their Hellenic credentials. But the Royal House…

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