Jews and the Olympic Games

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More About This Title Jews and the Olympic Games


Celebrating the unusually rich collection of stories that make up the history of the Jews at the Olympic Games, this work shows how many of the athletes fought battles both on and off the running track and how the personal drama and enduring humanity of their stories goes beyond sport and embraces politics, heroism, and resilience. 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 medalists, is a powerful account of the conflict between sport and politics.


Paul Taylor is a writer.


“Makes good use of the published sources and brings them to bear on the Jewish angle.”  —Choice

“A comprehensive history of Jewish Olympians. Taylor’s book focuses on the political background and conflict; it contains hundreds of stories, lists of Jewish medalists and photographs. It merits a medal.”  —Sir Martin Gilbert, award-winning historian

“Taylor has produced a unique and compelling history of Jewish sporting achievement. He reveals how Jewish athletes have had to combat not only their Olympic competitors, but also an enduring, often lethal, anti-Semitism.”  —Colin Tatz, sports historian and author, Obstacle Race: Aborigines in Sport

“Engrossing, innovative, and original. Paul Taylor provides a fascinating glimpse into a neglected aspect of the modern Jewish experience; a window into a tumultuous and traumatic century. Through memoir, biography, and careful reconstruction, he weaves a moving and dramatic tale, tracing the worlds and lives of Jewish Olympiads. Filled with bravery and pathos, Jewish fencers, athletes, and swimmers straddle the stage. Inevitably Hitler’s games and the Munich tragedy loom large. But Nordau’s ‘muscular Judaism’ is at last realized.”  —Milton Shain, professor of modern Jewish history, University of Cape Town