Six Minutes in Berlin

Six Minutes in Berlin : Broadcast Spectacle and Rowing Gold at the Nazi Olympics

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The Berlin Olympics, August 14, 1936. German rowers, dominant at the Games, line up against America's top eight-oared crew. Hundreds of millions of listeners worldwide wait by their radios. Leni Riefenstahl prepares her cameramen. Grantland Rice looks past the 75,000 spectators crowding the riverbank. Above it all, the Nazi leadership, flush with the propaganda triumph the Olympics have given their New Germany, await a crowning victory they can broadcast to the world. The Berlin Games matched cutting-edge communication technology with compelling sports narrative to draw the blueprint for all future sports broadcasting. A global audience--the largest cohort of humanity ever assembled--enjoyed the spectacle via radio. This still-novel medium offered a "liveness," a thrilling immediacy no other technology had ever matched. Michael J. Socolow's account moves from the era's technological innovations to the human drama of how the race changed the lives of nine young men. As he shows, the origins of global sports broadcasting can be found in this single, forgotten contest. In those origins we see the ways the presentation, consumption, and uses of sport changed forever.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 27.94mm | 544.31g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252040708
  • 9780252040702

Review quote

"Belongs on all history of sports or sports journalism syllabi. . . . Six Minutes in Berlin is among the best works of sports history."--American Journalism

"A most wonderful read."--Mystic Seaport Magazine "The stroke-by-stroke story of the Huskies' come-from-behind victory is a masterpiece of sports journalism. . . . the text reads as if Socolow had discovered that his true vocation is to be a novelist. He conveys the excitement of the final race so skillfully that he accelerated the pulse of at least one octogenarian historian. Six Minutes in Berlin is not just richly informative about sportscasting and eight-oared racing; it is also a good read."--Journal of American History

"A detailed text that combines a period in sports rowing history with the beginning of modern sports broadcasting. . . . Recommended."--Choice "Belongs on all history of sports or sports journalism syllabi. . . . Six Minutes in Berlin is among the best works of sports history."--American Journalism

"Socolow... is well placed to set that Olympic final in the contact of a Nazi propaganda machine that found its fullest express at those Games... the author's finer brushstrokes still paint glimmers of the horrors to come, but also the manifold personalities compromising the uniquely American crew, and the sheer competitive thrill of the final itself, whose wake can still gently lift the world 80 years on."--Booklist
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About Michael J. Socolow

Michael J. Socolow is an associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, , and the Chicago Tribune .
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