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Beijing's Games : What the Olympics Mean to China - Susan Brownell

Beijing's Games

What the Olympics Mean to China

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Click here to see an article on Beijing's Games and Susan Brownell in the Wall Street Journal. Why is hosting the Olympic Games so important to China? What is the significance of a quintessential symbol of Western civilization taking place in the heart of the Far East? Will the Olympics change China, or will China change the Olympics? Susan Brownell sets the historical and cultural stage for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by exploring the vital links among sports, gender, state power, Chinese nationalism, and China's national image in the West over the past century. She places the 2008 Games within the context of China's hundred-year engagement with the Olympic movement to illuminate what the Games mean to China and what the Beijing Olympic Games will mean for China's relationship with the outside world. Brownell's deeply informed analysis ranges from nineteenth-century orientalism to Cold War politics and post-Cold War "China bashing." Drawing on her decades of engagement as a college athlete in China, university professor, media expert, and advisor to the International Olympic Committee, the author utilizes her personal experiences and access to unique sources to paint an evocative and human picture of the passion that many Chinese people feel for the Olympic Games. Her book will appeal to scholars and students across the social sciences. It will also be essential reading for journalists and sports enthusiasts who want to understand the fascinating story behind the Beijing Olympics.

This book is very good reading. Through the pages of Beijing's Games, you will learn more about this Olympic's history, host country, host city, and invitation to be the 'people's Olympics.' Midwest Book Review Offering insightful, informed analyses, Brownell provides an understanding of the importance to China of hosting the 2008 summer Olympic Games and of what the games mean for China's relationship with the outside world. Brownell highlights historical and cultural context... The author has personal experience in the Chinese sports world, and she brings a human side to understanding the importance and passion felt by the Chinese as hosts of the 2008 Olympic Games... This book tells an intriguing story and helps the reader to understand the Olympics from a Chinese perspective. CHOICE If you're looking for something a bit more brainy, try Beijing's Games: What the Olympics Mean to China by Susan Brownell. Brownell's book tracks China's use of the Summer Olympics as a firework-studded coming out party on its quest to elbow into the high society of the world's superpowers. Book Examiner Beijing's Games is a well-written and lively account of sports in contemporary Chinese public culture and politics. It offers a timely context for understanding the issues surrounding the Beijing Olympics. It is a must-read. American Anthropologist Brownell's book contain[s] withering accounts of decades of the International Olympic Committee's clumsiness in handling the two-Chinas problem... Brownell, herself a top track-and-field athlete who participated in the 1986 Chinese National College Games when she was an exchange student, corrects misrepresentations about athlete-automatons, genetic engineering, and child abuse. The New Republic From our many conversations spanning more than a decade, I am aware of the exhaustive research and effort Susan Brownell has devoted to understanding China's sports and Olympic culture. One need not agree with all of her assessments and conclusions to appreciate the scholarship and perspective found here. -- Bob Costas, NBC Sports Susan Brownell's Beijing's Games: What the Olympics Mean to China takes the reader on a compelling tour of the myriad factors that had to converge in order for the 2008 Games to be held in Beijing. As a former topflight athlete who speaks Chinese and trained and competed with Chinese women teammates, Brownell has a strongly personal take on virtually every facet of her story: the nationalist and legal implications of Taiwan's case, the missteps of sports announcers, the history of stadium design, problems with steroid use, charges of child abuse in the athletic training process, the pressures on Chinese members of the IOC, gender stereotyping in the media, the claims of China's own martial 'wushu' tradition to be classified as an Olympic sport. This is a thoughtful and often outspoken book that will be of value not just to those traveling to Beijing in August 2008 for the Olympics but also to all those interested in the foibles and the future of international sports competition at the global level. -- Jonathan D. Spence, Yale University; author of The Search for Modern China No other American and very few Chinese are as well qualified as Susan Brownell to interpret Chinese Olympic history in its social and cultural context and to imagine what the 2008 Olympics will do to change China and what China might do to change the Olympic movement-for the better. -- Allen Guttmann, Amherst College; president, North American Society for Sport History

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Note on Names and Translationsp. xv
Introduction: What the Olympic Games Mean to Chinap. 1
Europe and the People without Sport History, or What Hosting the Olympic Games Means to Chinap. 19
The Clash of Cultures: Martial Arts and Olympic Sportsp. 49
Symbols of State Power: Stadiums and National Identity in Beijingp. 73
What Women's Sports Mean to Chinap. 97
Mixing Sport and Politics: China and the International Olympic Committeep. 129
"China Bashing" at the Olympic Games: Why the Cold War Continues in Sport Journalismp. 149
Will the Olympics Change China, or Will China Change the Olympics?p. 177
Selected Bibliography of English-Language Sourcesp. 199
Indexp. 203
About the Authorp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780742556416
ISBN-10: 0742556417
Series: Beijing's Games
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
For Grades: 13 - 17
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 230
Published: 28th January 2008
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.6  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.37