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The Whole World Was Watching – Sport in the Cold War - Stanford Scholarship Online
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The Whole World Was Watching: Sport in the Cold War

Robert Edelman and Christopher Young


The master narrative of Cold War sports describes a two-sided surrogate war, measurable by falsely objective medal counts every four years at the Olympic Games. This approach is as inadequate for sports as it is for the Cold War. Rather than a bipolar, superpower conflict, the Cold War was a competition between the dueling globalization projects of capitalism and Communism composed of far-from-monolithic blocs. While a fragile, fearful peace took shape in the Northern Hemisphere, both sides waged proxy wars that killed tens of millions in the Global South. Alongside other forms of popular cult ... More

Keywords: cultural Cold War, international systems, cultural turn, multipolarity, Olympic Games, popular culture, postcolonial, gender, media, sport

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9781503610187
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9781503610187.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Edelman, editor
University of California, San Diego

Christopher Young, editor
University of Cambridge

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Introduction Explaining Cold War Sport

Robert Edelman and Christopher Young

Part I The United States

Part II The Soviet Union

3 Breaking the Ice

James Hershberg

4 Action in the Era of Stagnation

Mikhail Prozumenshikov

6 Russian Fever Pitch

Manfred Zeller

Part III German Democratic Republic

7 Eulogy to Theft

Alan McDougall

Part IV Asia

12 New Regional Order

Simon Creak

Part V The Post colonial

End Matter