TRIUMPH: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics, by Jeremy Schaap, is reviewed by Matt Schudel in today's Washington Post. The underlying story, of course, is extraordinary. Schundel writes:
Jesse Owens captured the nation's attention in a single afternoon. On May 25, 1935, at a track meet in Ann Arbor, Mich., he set or tied four world records in less than an hour and instantly became one of the two greatest African American sports heroes of the time, along with boxer Joe Louis....
As Jeremy Schaap points out in his evocative new study of Owens and the Berlin Olympics, writers and human rights advocates debated whether the United States should even participate in the games, which were a calculated showcase for Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. Owens himself tepidly endorsed an Olympic boycott, but as "the greatest running and jumping talent the world had ever seen," he also knew the Olympics would be his ultimate international stage.
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