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New book takes look at 1936 Olympic games in a unique way

I Love to Read: Played: The games of the 1936 Berlin Olympics

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)- In their powerful new book, PLAYED: The Games of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, authors Glenn Allen and Richard Kaufman turn 25 years of painstaking research into a smoldering cauldron of politics, sports, espionage and courage that brings to life key characters at the center of the controversy like never before. 

Based on real stories and real people involved in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, PLAYED plunges readers into a compelling, fictionalized account of the insanity and hysteria that unfolded across Germany, the United States and in much of the world from 1931 through 1936. 

At the center of the controversy in the U.S. is American Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage.

Unmoved by the new Nazi regime’s anti-Jewish doctrines, Brundage leads the fight to participate in the 1936 Berlin Games after much debate of a U.S. boycott.

Brundage desperately wants to be on the International Olympic Committee. If he doesn’t get the Americans to Berlin, he can kiss that dream goodbye. 

When the vote is decided in Brundage’s favor, AP Sports Editor Alan J. Gould, friend and champion of the athletes, travels to Berlin to cover all of the “games” being played.

Through his eyes readers see the machinations of Brundage’s complicity with the Nazis, the tenacity of the proud American athletes and the extreme pressure from the Nazis on their German athletes.

Their stories, heartbreaking and tragic, give rise to feats of heroism that go beyond the playing field. 

Along the way readers meet some of the most famous people of the time: Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Goebbels, Leni Riefenstahl, Eva Braun and the madman himself, Hitler.