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History General

More than Just Games

Canada and the 1936 Olympics

by (author) Richard Menkis & Harold Troper

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
May 2015
General, 20th Century, General, General, Jewish, General, Essays
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    May 2015
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    May 2015
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    May 2015
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Held in Germany, the 1936 Olympic Games sparked international controversy. Should athletes and nations boycott the games to protest the Nazi regime? More Than Just Games is the history of Canada’s involvement in the 1936 Olympics. It is the story of the Canadian Olympic officials and promoters who were convinced that national unity and pride demanded that Canadian athletes compete in the Olympics without regard for politics. It is the story of those Canadian athletes, mostly young and far more focused on sport than politics, who were eager to make family, friends, and country proud of their efforts on Canada’s behalf. And, finally, it is the story of those Canadians who led an unsuccessful campaign to boycott the Olympics and deny Nazi Germany the propaganda coup of serving as an Olympic host.

Written by two noted historians of Canadian Jewish history, Richard Menkis and Harold Troper, More than Just Games brings to life the collision of politics, patriotism, and the passion of sport on the eve of the Second World War.

About the authors

Richard Menkis is an associate professor in the Departments of History and Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia. He is co-editor with Norman Ravvin of the Canadian Jewish Studies Reader.

Richard Menkis' profile page

Harold Troper is professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. The co-author of None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews (with Irving Abella), his most recent book is The Defining Decade: Identity, Politics, and the Canadian Jewish Community in the 1960s.

Harold Troper's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Co-authors Richard Menkis and Harold Troper are talented writers with a keen eye for detail. More Than Just Games is not merely honest; it is compelling.”

Blacklocks Reporter, June 6, 2015

‘Menkis and Troper, veteran Canadian historians have produced a definitive history of Canada’s role in the 1936 Olympic Games held in Nazi Germany. Their well-researched account covers all aspects of the games…. Highly recommended.’

Choice Magazine vol 53:05:2015

‘What Menkis & Troper have presented in their book is refreshing and deeply intriguing study of the diverging political and social interests in Canada in the lead up to the 1936 Nazi Olympic Games… Artfully written and is without a doubt, exceptionally researched.’

Journal of Sport History, vol 43:03:2016

‘Menkis & Troper provide an excellent account of the preparations for the games…. They offer an outstanding examination of the experience of Canadian athletes and teams in both winter and summer Olympics.’

The American Jewish Archives Journal vol 68: 01:2016

‘This is a splendid book!’

Sport History Review vol 47:01:2016

‘This book is one of the finest examples of sport history that I’ve read in some time. More than Just Games will be mainstay on the shelves of historians of years to come.’

Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies – vol 24:2015

“That the scholarship of academics with the credentials of [Richard] Menkis and [Harold] Troper would be impeccable I had no doubt. What I hadn’t anticipated was the immediacy they could evoke with their writing. The amount of detail they provide serves to bring readers into the period leading up to Canada’s decision to send athletes to the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, when there could be no doubt as to the Nazis’ actions and intentions. “

Jewish Independent, Friday, December 4, 2015

‘It is a compelling story that deserves to be read.’

The American Historical review vol 121:04:2016

Other titles by Harold Troper