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The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came…
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The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948 (2008)

by Janie Hampton

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I was reading this during the first week of the London 2012 torch relay, so made a good accompaniment to the build up to the 2012 games. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Olympics, particularly in the run-up to are immediately after this year's Olympiad. Not only is this a great account post-war Britain, where rationing was still in place, but it also provides an insight into how the games and sport has changed, but equally how other aspects remain very similar.

The really interesting parts were the descriptions of the preparations for the games and some of the lengths which members of the British team had to go to in order to compete. Some of the sections on the events themselves were a little lengthy and in parts heavy and a little over reliant on quotes. It would have nice to have heard the author's voice a little more often. Nevertheless a fascinating account of how the Games were revived after at the end of a bleak decade for Britain and the world. ( )
  geocroc | May 26, 2012 |
Janie Hampton has researched her subject with an awesome thoroughness, interviewing many people who attended and competed in 1948. This could have made for a heavy read; but she has an illuminating sense of detail, and her book tells a story that goes beyond that of a sporting event - a story of innocence, hope and pride.
added by geocroc | editThe Telegraph, Laura Thompson (May 31, 2008)
 
The Austerity Olympics is a nice little addition to austerity lit, not as entertainingly written as the masterpiece of the genre, David Kynaston's Austerity Britain 1945-1951, but full of surprising facts and curious anecdotes. Mainly it's a cuttings job, but Hampton has found some 200 survivors to interview, too.
 
Janie Hampton's new book wonderfully evokes the atmosphere of the postwar Britain, with rationing in full swing.
 
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Along with thousands of others I stood expectantly in Trafalgar Square on 6 July 2005.
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A fascinating look at the extraordinary event which was for and by the people, this book is full of first hand interviews, hilarious anecdotes and great spirited feats. Here we meet not only the famous names but also hear the experiences of all who were involved from tea ladies to locals and spectators.… (more)

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