The Modern Olympics: A Struggle for Revival

Overview

According to most accounts, the man solely responsible for reviving the modern Olympic Games was Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Now, in The Modern Olympics, David C. Young challenges this view, revealing that Coubertin was only the last and most successful of many contributors to the dream of the modern Olympics.

Based on thirteen years of research in previously neglected documents, Young reconstructs the fascinating and almost unknown history of the Olympic revival movement in the ...

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Overview

According to most accounts, the man solely responsible for reviving the modern Olympic Games was Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Now, in The Modern Olympics, David C. Young challenges this view, revealing that Coubertin was only the last and most successful of many contributors to the dream of the modern Olympics.

Based on thirteen years of research in previously neglected documents, Young reconstructs the fascinating and almost unknown history of the Olympic revival movement in the nineteenth century, including two long-forgotten Olympiads—one in London in 1866 and another in Athens in 1870. He traces the idea for the modern Olympics back to an obscure Greek poet in 1833 and follows the sinuous tale to a small village in England, where W. P. Brookes held local Olympiads, founded the British Olympic Committee, and told Coubertin about his vision of an international Olympics.

Coubertin's main contribution to the founding of the modern Olympics was the zeal he brought to transforming an idea that had evolved over decades into the reality of Olympiad I and all the Olympic Games held thereafter.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Olympic History

Indispensable to all Olympic historians... Young is an enthralling writer... exhaustive research.

Journal of Sport History

Young's research is impeccable.

Olympika: International Journal of Olympic Studies
Young has provided us with a carefully researched examination of two important and much misunderstood episodes in Modern Olympic history, the genesis of the most vigorous and successful early attempts to organize Olympic Games in modern context... Far and away themost authoritative and comprehensive portrayal of the subject yet produced... The corpus of research data produced by Young in this study is far beyond admiration, it is altogether staggering.

— Robert K. Barney

Los Angeles Times - Alan Abrahamson

For more than 100 years, Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France has been glorified as the man who 'invented' the modern Olympic Games. It's not true, says a University of Florida professor. An English physician and a gaggle of 19th century Greeks did more to revive the Games, among them an eccentric philanthropist whose body was buried—per his instructions—in Romania, Albania and Athens, according to David C. Young, a classics professor with a long-standing interest in the Olympics.

American Historical Review - Richard D. Mandell

David C. Young is a classicist who brings to this already investigated topic a doggedness and enthusiasm that go beyond anything done before. For the community of critical sports historians, this book is a major event.

Olympika: International Journal of Olympic Studies - Robert K. Barney

Young has provided us with a carefully researched examination of two important and much misunderstood episodes in Modern Olympic history, the genesis of the most vigorous and successful early attempts to organize Olympic Games in modern context... Far and away themost authoritative and comprehensive portrayal of the subject yet produced... The corpus of research data produced by Young in this study is far beyond admiration, it is altogether staggering.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801872075
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

David C. Young is a professor of classics at the University of Florida.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
List of Abbreviations
1 The Birth of the Olympic Idea, 1833-1858: The Poet and the Doctor 1
2 The First Zappas Olympiad, 1856-1859 13
3 The Olympic Movement in England, 1859-1868 24
4 The Olympic Movement in Greece, 1869-1875 42
5 National Failures, International Dreams, 1869-1888 53
6 Enter Pierre de Coubertin, 1883-1890 68
7 The Baron at Work, 1890-1894 81
8 The 1894 Paris Congress and D. Vikelas 96
9 The IOC: First Faltering Steps, 1894 106
10 Politics, Trade Unions, and Wedding Bells, 1894-1895 116
11 The Greeks at Work, 1895-1896 127
12 The First International Olympic Games Begin, 1896 136
13 IOC Olympiad I: One to Remember, 1896 148
14 The Olympic Games Finally Revived 160
Appendix: Note on Documents 171
Notes 177
Bibliography 239
Index 245
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