• Rome 1960

  • The Olympics that Changed the World
  • By: David Maraniss
  • Narrated by: David Maraniss
  • Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author David Maraniss weaves sports, politics, and history into a groundbreaking tour de force.

The athletes competing in the 1960 Rome Olympics included some of the most honored in Olympic history: decathlete Rafer Johnson, sprinter Wilma Rudolph, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, and Louisville boxer Cassius Clay, who at 18 seized the world stage for the first time, four years before he became Muhammad Ali.

Along with these unforgettable characters and dramatic contests, there was a deeper meaning to those late-summer days at the dawn of the 60s. Change was apparent everywhere. The world as we know it was coming into view. Rome saw the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, and the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand of shoes.

In the heat of the cold war, every move was judged for its propaganda value. East and west Germans competed as a unified team less than a year before the Berlin Wall. There was dispute over the two Chinas. An independence movement was sweeping sub-Saharan Africa, with 14 nations in the process of being born. There was increasing pressure to provide equal rights for blacks and women as they emerged from generations of discrimination.

Using the meticulous research and sweeping narrative style that have become his trademark, Maraniss reveals the rich palate of character, competition, and meaning that gave Rome 1960 its singular essence of theater, suspense, victory, and defeat.

©2008 David Maraniss (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Maraniss provides an intelligent context for his evocative reportage." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Rome 1960

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Good Book

I found this book to be very enlightening. The author did a great job of telling the stories of the 1960 Rome Games in light of how they changed the way the Olympic games would be viewed after that. This is a great read, especially since the Summer Games are just around the corner.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Why does is it skip so much?

I’m reading along with the book, and the audiobook skips on so much text during the first chapter. I play this is in 2x, so it is really throwing me off when the audiobook skips a sentence, phrase, and in a few cases, a whole paragraph.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A wonderful story well told

David Manarsis is a talented story teller. I was seventeen in 1960 and I remember many of the athletes who are the focus of this Book. I enjoyed learning about their backgrounds. It is sad to see we are still dealing with the same race issues.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book but missing material from the text

The audiobook is missing while sentences and bits of key story information that is in the paperback version. Im doing a report on this for history class and I just realized that audible is not the way to go. I would advise using this in partnership with the paperback so you don’t miss a bunch of stuff like I did.