Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Germany

By: Andrew Maraniss

On a scorching hot day in July 1936, thousands of people cheered as the U.S. Olympic teams boarded the S.S. Manhattan, bound for Berlin. Among the athletes were the 14 players representing the first-ever U.S. Olympic basketball team. As thousands of supporters waved American flags on the docks, it was easy to miss the one courageous man holding a BOYCOTT NAZI GERMANY sign. But it was too late for a boycott now; the ship had already left the harbor.

1936 was a turbulent time in world history. Adolf Hitler had gained power in Germany three years earlier. Jewish people and political opponents of the Nazis were the targets of vicious mistreatment, yet were unaware of the horrors that awaited them in the coming years. But the Olympians on board the S.S. Manhattan and other international visitors wouldn’t see any signs of trouble in Berlin. Streets were swept, storefronts were painted, and every German citizen greeted them with a smile. Like a movie set, it was all just a facade, meant to distract from the terrible things happening behind the scenes.

This is the incredible true story of basketball, from its invention by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891, to the sport’s Olympic debut in Berlin and the eclectic mix of people, events, and propaganda on both sides of the Atlantic that made it all possible.

Afterword. “All-Time Olympic Basketball Results.” 1936 Team USA roster. Time line of 1936 Berlin Olympics. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

ISBN: 9780525514633

JLG Release: Feb 2020


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination, Racism
Topics: Sports and recreation , Basketball , Sports history , Olympics and Paralympics , 1936 Summer Olympics , Nazi Germany , Twentieth-century history

$17.85  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

Tablet Best Jewish Children’s Books - 2019
Sydney Taylor Book Award Honoree - 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Readers will discover an incredible story where separate worlds from across the Atlantic collide. Maraniss traces the history of basketball including its invention and growing popularity in the United States leading up to the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin. By 1936 in Germany, Hitler had gained power and started to persecute Jewish people. But b Readers will discover an incredible story where separate worlds from across the Atlantic collide. Maraniss traces the history of basketball including its invention and growing popularity in the United States leading up to the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin. By 1936 in Germany, Hitler had gained power and started to persecute Jewish people. But because the world was watching, the Germans projected the false image of an idyllic city in order to hide the true horrors of living under the Nazi regime. The 1936 games marked the first time basketball was featured at the Olympics, and the U.S. team saw firsthand the German’s propaganda surrounding this historical event and the state of the country. Maraniss’s well-researched book includes many period photographs that enhance the narrative. This book is a smart read-alike for fans of Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat or its young adult adaptation. It would also add to any student’s study of the origins of World War II and the eventual involvement of the United States. An exciting and overlooked slice of history.

Book Details

ISBN

9780525514633

First Release

February 2020

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

796.48

Trim Size

9" x 7"

Page Count

240

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Philomel

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination, Racism

Topics

Sports and recreation, Basketball, Sports history, Olympics and Paralympics, 1936 Summer Olympics, Nazi Germany, Twentieth-century history,

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