A Brief History of the Olympic Games: The ancient Olympics captured the imaginations of the Greeks for more than a millennium until a Christianized Rome put a stop on the competitions in the fourth century AD. But the Olympic ideal did not die. This book by American scholar David Young’s titled ‘A Brief History of the Olympic Games’ (Publishers: Wiley-Blackwell) is a succinct history of the Olympics and their modern resurgence.

Prof. Young researched the subject for over 25 years. He reveals in the book how the ancient Olympics evolved from a modest beginning into a grand sporting festival, attracting highly trained athletes, spectators, and even the finest artists and poets.

The Naked Olympics: Tony Perrottet’s ‘The Naked Olympics’ (Publishers: Random House) is a charming book that depicts the world of the games through the vision of imaginary Greek athlete Hippothales, who wanders around the sporting site. The author describes not only the athletic competitions but also the intriguing world of religiosity, pilgrimage and commerce in which they were set.

The acclaimed author brings erudition, humor and attitude to the fascinating tale of the original Olympic festival, tracking the event day by day to recreate the charm in all its compelling spectacle, using firsthand reports and little-known resources including an actual ‘Handbook for a Sports Coach’ used by the Greeks.

Olympic Dreams: China and Sports: Xu Guoqi in his ‘Olympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008’ (Publishers: Harvard University Press) covers how under Communism, sport became a passionate political project as much as cultural revolution or youth indoctrination.

‘Olympics’ by Chris Oxlade (D K Publishing)is a triumphal history of the games, starting from ancient Greece. Readers will come to discover the pageantry of the original Olympics; Pierre de Coubertin’s revival of the modern games in the year 1896, the variety of Olympic sports, astounding world records and much more in the book.

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