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Passing the Torch

Pubblicato il 13 Luglio 2008 12:00 | Ultimo aggiornamento: 13 Luglio 2008 12:00

da: The New York Times

A desperate search is under way these days among authors for the epic sports event, suitable for immortalizing in a book. Desperate, because the supply is finite, and it is also dwindling. These rare milestones occurred within a short period of time: after the rise of mass media, which broadened audiences exponentially and gave people a stake in such spectacles, but before 24-hour saturation coverage left little to write about afterward. It helped if malevolent ideologies, like Nazism or Communism, were involved. Or race, particularly when, if belatedly and begrudgingly, baseball diamonds, track-and-field stadiums and boxing rings were among the few places where people of color were actually allowed to win.With Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali, and the events they defined, pretty much picked clean, there’s not much remaining. But David Maraniss has come up with another claimant: the 1960 Olympics. It was, his subtitle tells us, an event “that changed the world.” He never really proves his case. A gold medalist of a writer — he is the author, among many other books, of “First in His Class,” a prescient and much-acclaimed biography of…

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