“Cold War Games is fast-paced, edgy and highly readable. Harry Blutstein crafts his gripping account with an impressive array of interviews, archival material and scholarship from across the globe. The result is a fascinating and accessible insight into a seminal moment in Olympic and Cold War history.” – Richard Mills, Lecturer in Modern European History, University of East Anglia
“It’s Olympic folklore that Melbourne in 1956 delivered the Friendly Games. Cold War Games provides us a sober reminder that beneath the surface of athletic excellence and adulating crowds, ran a hard-fought and intensive political confrontation between the Soviet and free world approach to sport. Harry Blutstein has meticulously researched this and the story is compelling – Kevan Gosper, 1956 Olympian and silver medal winner and former President of the Australian Olympic Federation
“Cold War Games is a fascinating account of the 1956 Olympics. I learned many interesting details about my teammates, leaders and various political figures in the political intrigues which occurred during and following the Olympic games in Melbourne.” – Miklós (Nick) Martin, water polo player who represented Hungary in the 1956 Olympic Games.
“Harry Blutstein’s study of the 1956 Olympic games is important not only for its detailed coverage of this understudied Cold War episode but also because it covers the games from the perspective of so many different participants. In this way, he elevates the story from a mere clash of ideologies and highlights the individuals caught up in a battle between East and West so enormous that even the world of sports was not immune to the passions and paranoia it spawned.” – Michael Krenn, professor of history and the chair of the department at Appalachian State University
Courage, fear, intrigue, brutality, generosity, love, hate, romance, humour, triumph and tragedy: they’re all here in this superbly crafted book about the intimate entanglement of politics and sport during the deepest freeze of the global cold war. Harry Blutstein’s Cold War Games makes a major contribution to the history of international sport and politics, and with writing about some titanic Olympic sporting battles and the athletes that fought them that will have you on the edge of your seat.” – Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History, The Australian National University
“This is a tale that is long overdue. Dr Blutstein’s well-researched history of the chicanery of the Soviets in Olympic competition is a compelling read. Every chapter indeed was a revelation of the lengths many nations will go to, to seek Olympic recognition. I’m sure that while a few of the machinations may be familiar to some, Dr Blutstein has uncovered a trove of material and blended it all into a most readable form. I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to read the book. History buffs will love it I’m sure. — Jon Henricks, Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960 Swimming Dual Gold Medallist
“Cold War Games” is the most comprehensive book on sport politics that I have read and provides a rare insight into the way in which Olympic athletes became pawns in the battle between the USSR and the US during the Cold War. As one of the athletes who was in Melbourne and then sought asylum in the US, I would like to congratulate Dr Blutstein for bringing this untold story to a wide audience, capturing the mood and drama of traumatic days. Every sportsman and sport official should read this book. – Dániel Magay, gold medalist in the the sabre team competition in the 1956 Olympics
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