Renowned sportswriter David Goldblatt has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal for writing "with the expansive eye of a social and cultural critic". In The Games, Goldblatt delivers a magisterial history of the biggest sporting event of them all: the Olympics. He tells the epic story of the games from their reinvention in Athens in 1896 to the present day, chronicling classic moments of sporting achievement from Jesse Owens to Nadia Comaneci, the Miracle on Ice to Usain Bolt.
The Olympic Games have become the single greatest festival of a universal and cosmopolitan humanity. Seventeen days of sporting competition watched and followed on every continent and in every country on the planet. Simply the greatest show on earth. Yet when the modern games were inaugurated in Athens in 1896, the founders thought them a 'display of manly virtue', an athletic celebration of the kind of amateur gentleman who would rule the world. How was such a ritual invented?