Steve Wulf
July 04, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Rome 1960

Current Status
In Season
David Maraniss
Nonfiction, History

We gave it an A

If you wish you could have been at the Rome Olympics when Wilma Rudolph broke through the tape, or when Abeba Bikila won the marathon barefoot, or when Cassius Clay mistakenly tried to drink from a bidet, don’t worry: David Maraniss puts you there in Rome 1960. In recounting the 1960 Summer Games, the biographer of both Vince Lombardi and Bill Clinton deftly intertwines athletic feats with tales of Cold War intrigue and omens of shamateurism and drug enhancement. In one of Maraniss’ best stories, American sprinter Dave Sime was asked to bring home not only a medal but also a defector, Soviet broad jumper Igor Ter-Ovanesyan. A

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