MUNICH 1972: TRAGEDY, TERROR, AND TRIUMPH AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
by David Clay Large
Rowman & Littlefield, 396 pp., $29.95
This summer, a campaign to convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to dedicate "Just One Minute" of the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics to the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes murdered forty years ago went viral. There were YouTube videos, a Twitter hashtag, a Facebook page, and an online petition, not to speak of statements of support from President Barack Obama and sportscaster Bob Costas. But the IOC resisted. Throughout those weeks as I signed the petition, "liked" the Facebook page, followed the hashtag, watched the videos, and wondered at the IOC's opposition, I was also reading David Clay Large's outstanding new book, Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games.
Large, who earlier wrote a book on the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics, emphasizes the extent to which the organizers' determination to avoid recalling the then-recent Nazi past shaped the way they planned the 1972 Olympic Games and inadvertently facilitated what is remembered as the Munich massacre. Large describes the episode that began in the early morning hours on September 5:
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