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Before the Eyes of the World
Mexico and the 1968 Olympic Games
Kevin B. Witherspoon
2009 North American Society for Sport History Book Award
“This is one of the best books I have read on Olympic sports. No one has discussed the 1968 games as thoroughly and as thoughtfully as Witherspoon.”—Allen Guttmann, Amherst College
“Witherspoon does a commendable job at delivering a cogently organized, very raedable narrative of the history of sporting events in Mexico, culminating in the 1968 Games. The book's broader discussion of the politics of international Olympic sporting is both engaging and revealing.”—The Americas
"Witherspoon's organization of the material is tight, his exposition rich, at times riveting, and always lucid. Before the Eyes of the World is the best book I have ever read treating one specific Olympic Games.—Olympika
Mexican leaders eagerly anticipated the attention that hosting the world’s most visible sporting event would bring, yet they could not have predicted the array of conflicts that would play out before the eyes of the world during the notorious 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Following 20 years of economic growth and political stability—known as the “Mexican miracle”—Mexican policy makers escaped their prior image of being economically underdeveloped to successfully craft an image of a nation that was both modern and cosmopolitan but also steeped in culture and tradition. Buoyed by this new image, they set their sights on the Olympic bid, and they not only won but also prepared impressive facilities.
(2008) 235 pp., 14 illus.
Kevin B. Witherspoon is Assistant Professor of History at Lander University in South Carolina.
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