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Jesse Owens: I Always Loved Running
     

Jesse Owens: I Always Loved Running

by Jeff Burlingame
 

In 1936, in front of 110,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium in Germany, Jesse Owens blew away the competition in the 100-meter final to claim the title of "World's Fastest Man." He won the gold medal in front of Germany's brutal dictator, Adolf Hitler, defying the Nazi leader's racist ideology. Owens won three more gold medals at the Olympics and returned to the

Overview

In 1936, in front of 110,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium in Germany, Jesse Owens blew away the competition in the 100-meter final to claim the title of "World's Fastest Man." He won the gold medal in front of Germany's brutal dictator, Adolf Hitler, defying the Nazi leader's racist ideology. Owens won three more gold medals at the Olympics and returned to the United States a hero. Author Jeff Burlingame explores the life of one of the greatest and most influential athletes in American history.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
The first chapter of this book in the "African-American Biography Library" series opens with a compelling tale of a black man resoundingly defeating the Aryan supremacy rhetoric of Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin by capturing four gold medals. Although Hitler ostensibly refused to shake hands with any of the winning black athletes, when Owens returned home, he also did not get to shake hands with the American president and had to ride in a freight elevator to an event in his honor because discrimination was still so much a part of American life. James Cleveland Owens was remarkable not only for his outstanding athletic abilities, but also because of the enormous physical and societal obstacles he overcame. A sickly child whose mother removed "bumps" on his body with a kitchen knife because they could not afford a doctor, Owens always loved to run. After the family moved from their sharecrop farm in Alabama to Cleveland, a junior high athletics coach invited Jesse to join the track team. "Pop" Riley became a mentor in all ways to Jesse and helped him train throughout high school. Innovative Ohio State track and field coach, Larry Snyder, continued grooming Owens for the Olympics. WWII, continuing discrimination in the United States, and Owens generally poor business sense all combined to keep him and his family living in modest circumstances. Yet he unfailingly accepted offers to travel on behalf of the United States to promote the benefits of athletics and his country; until his death, he was a U.S. ambassador to the Olympics. The author offers a fairly robust consideration of the controversies in Owens' life, pointing out varying versions of events, providing chapter notes and further sources for research. Boxed sections add detail about people and places mentioned in the text and numerous archival photographs help the reader see Owens in his many roles. This is a solid resource for school libraries and an excellent discussion starter on the historical impacts of racial discrimination. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780766034976
Publisher:
Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Series:
African-American Biography Library
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.86(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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