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Book Review

The Five Ring Circus - Myths and realities of the Olympic Games


"The Olympic Games, once considered the pinnacle of athleticism and fair play, have become a cesspool of greed, backroom deals and the wholesale trampling of civil liberties. In Vancouver, preparations for the 2010 Games have had a substantial negative impact on the environment and have resulted in the 'economic cleansing' of the poor and homeless.


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Andrew Jennings: The Lords of the Rings, The Great Olympic Swindle

1992: The Lords of the Rings was a smash hit translated into 13 languages. The Lords and its disclosures of Olympic corruption and the fascist background of the IOC president changed world perceptions of the organization forever. Published in USA as Dishonest Games. Sports Illustrated lists it as one of the Top One Hundred Sports Books of all Time.


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Olympic Industry Resistance

Olympic Industry Resistance provides a critical update of Olympic issues in the post-bribery and post-September 11 era, as well as documenting the work of Olympic watchdog groups. It presents a detailed examination of the Olympic aftermath in Barcelona, Atlanta, and Sydney, and provides analyses of Olympic impacts and community resistance in Salt Lake City, Athens, Vancouver, and London, as well as in the unsuccessful bid cities of New York and Toronto.


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Sports Mega-Events, Social scientific analyses of a global phenomenon

Edited by John Horne and Wolfram Manzenreiter, 2006, Blackwell, ISBN 10: 1 4051 5290 7

A recent collection of ten academic papers, plus an introduction, which gives useful updates about the ideologies which inform the Olympic Industry, the impacts of a range of recent sports mega-events, and current theoretical debates within academic research.


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Barbaric Sport - a Global Plague by Marc Perelman

Barbaric Sport by Marc PerelmanBarbaric Sport by Marc Perelman


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Brazil's Dance with the Devil - The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy by Dave Zirin

Brazil's Dance with the Devil by Dave ZirinBrazil's Dance with the Devil by Dave ZirinWritten by Dave Zirin, sports editor of the US newspaper The Nation, published by Haymarket Brazil's Dance with the Devil is a high octane read through the infatuation of Brazil's political elite with mega-events. Written before the 2014 World Cup it is highly relevant to the upcoming Rio Olympic Games. There is plenty of background on the politics of the bid and how it fits into the Lula era. However, its key focus is on the impact on the poorest communities, the favelas. As a sports journalist of unusual stripe Dave Zirin takes a look at significant sports personalities, notably the footballers Socrates and Pele, and how they represent different forces in Brazilian sport and society. Given the political importance of sport and its alleged disconnection from politics it is fascinating to read about Socrates' political classes at Corinthians. Zirin also provides a brief history of recent Olympics and highlights how the Games are about much more than sport, they provide an opportunity to redesign the city, minus the poor.


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Marshland, dreams and nightmares on the edge of London

‘Marshland, dreams and nightmares on the edge of London’ by Gareth E Rees is not a book about the Olympics! But it is about the ongoing struggle over Hackney Marshes and the open space on the east of the River Lea. In 1892, 3,000 local people tore up rails laid by the East London Waterworks Company. In 1985 a campaign group called Save the Marshes succeeded in beating off the attempt by the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority, the supposed protector of the Marshes, to allow quarrying on Walthamstow Marshes. Then in 2005 London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and battle was joined once again in the most recent round in the continuing struggle between local people and railway, water and quarrying companies, housing authorities and developers and now the Olympic Delivery Authority.


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A Wider Social Role for Sport

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