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Power Games by Jules Boykoff
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Power Games

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Power Games by Jules Boykoff
May 17, 2016 | ISBN 9781784780739

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    May 17, 2016 | ISBN 9781784780722

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“An Olympic history that simply hasn’t been told.”
—Olympic medalist John Carlos, author of The John Carlos Story

“Should be on every Olympian’s bookshelf.”
—Laurence Halsted, fencer and “Team GB” Olympian at Rio 2016

“[Boykoff’s] jaunty polemic Power Games is billed as a political history of the Olympics. It is actually more of a call-to-arms to people faced with this giant intrusion.”
Financial Times

“As much a tool for activists as a work of scholarship, [Power Games] relentlessly attacks the hypocrisy of the Olympic myth.”
Washington Post

“A great irony is that the modern Olympics, first envisioned as an alternative to war, have themselves become a form of low-intensity warfare. As Jules Boykoff chronicles in this pathbreaking history, host cities have used the Games to leverage urban renewal, neighborhood demolition, and mass population displacement. The preparations for the Rio Olympics have gone one step further and become a literal urban counterinsurgency, as elite police units occupy and ‘cleanse’ one favela after another.”
—Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

“Takes us deep into the heart of the Olympic industry … Power Games chronicles a wide range of resistance, including indigenous people who have struggled to defend their lands and rights against the Olympic juggernaut, showing us how all of our interests are intertwined. A must-read.”
—Janice Forsyth, former Director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at Western University in Ontario, member of the Fisher River Cree First Nation

“Boykoff, arguably the world’s leading authority on the Olympic Games, skillfully details how the Olympics benefit political elites and corporate interests at the expense of host cities and even democracy itself. But this is no pessimistic account. Boykoff ends by outlining how a more democratic and transparent Olympics is still possible.”
—Ben Carrington, University of Texas at Austin, author of Race, Sport and Politics

“Jules Boykoff’s Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics is a smart, sharp, and critically balanced outline of the modern Olympic revival.”
—Robert L. Kehoe III, Boston Review

“Exhuastively researched and clearly written.”
—Jon Day, Times Literary Supplement

“An important read for those who will be watching this summer’s contests in Rio. Even more importantly, though, it is a necessary text for those who live in cities the International Olympic Committee is eyeing for its next overpriced neoliberal capitalist extravaganza. The people of Boston sent the IOC packing in 2015 for many of the reasons elucidated in this history. Other cities would do well to do the same. This book explains why.”
—Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch

“[Power Games is] really two books in one: a historical overview of the Games’ checkered history and a searing indictment of the IOC’s hypocrisy and hubris … unrelentingly critical [and also] constructive.”
—Houman Barekat, Jacobin

“To anyone who believes that the excesses of the Games over the past 50 years or so have betrayed a purer original legacy, [Power Games] by Jules Boykoff provides a bracing corrective.”

“Jules Boykoff debunks any remaining myths associated with the ‘spirit’ and ‘goodwill’ of the Olympic ‘movement’ by attending closely to the machinations of this monopolistic, non-sovereign, and largely unaccountable organization and its beneficiaries.”
Public Books

“Enjoyable and informative, Power Games is an even more relevant read in the build-up to this summer’s … Olympics.”
—Jamie Johnson, Morning Star

“This explosive book leaves us asking whether the IOC’s insistence that sport is above such concerns as justice, liberty and human rights has not in fact been a fundamentally corrosive stance from the start.”
Sunday Herald

“A timely and depressing reminder of the grisly underbelly of the Olympic Games.”
—Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times

“As sporting mega-events become the focus of a growing number of activists, Power Games provides the basis for those campaigns to be better informed and more effective.”
—Malcolm Maclean, Red Pepper

“By examining Olympic history from the revival of the Games in 1896 to the imminent Rio Olympics, Boykoff traces how the Olympics have developed into the behemoth that has transformed Rio over the past seven years. Beyond this, he also provides fantastic detail on many of the egregious abuses in the name of Rio 2016.”
—Adam Talbot, RioOnWatch

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