... important ... For a number of the athletes, the authors start by telling their stories beginning in childhood. This can be confusing as the story is told chronologically and jumps from athlete to athlete in a certain part of his or her life and then circles back to an earlier time. The amount of research, however, that went into both projects is impressive, presenting details about how conflicted some athletes were on boycotting the games ... Even though the organization of the book could have been improved, overall it will appeal to readers interested in the history of the Olympics and World War II and might best serve as a companion piece to the documentary.
This is an easy-to-read book, including historical photos, that shines a welcome light on lesser-known Olympians, all of them Black sports heroes who paved the way for future civil-rights gains. Certain to have broad appeal for track-and-field fans as well as readers interested in the history of African Americans in sports.
... stirring ... The narrative builds to the games themselves, with gripping descriptions of the races and an account of how athletes including Dave Albritton, Cornelius Johnson, and Delos Thurber refused to give the Nazi salute in front of Hitler ... Cutting across disciplines, this stirring remembrance of athletes who have long been overshadowed will resonate with anyone interested in the Olympics or the history of civil rights.