Sue Macy's Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics is classified as children's book, but it will appeal to readers of all ages. Chock-full of history, trivia and profiles, the book is an incredible repository of information about the summer Games. Macy starts by explaining how Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin combined seemingly disparate elements the notion of improving character through sports, the pomp and pageantry of World Fairs to create the modern Olympic Games, the first of which were held in 1896. From there, Macy traces the development of the modern Games, touching on groundbreaking moments (the first women or minorities to compete), moments of tragedy (Munich in 1972) and times when politics threatened to upstage sport (Berlin in 1936, Moscow and Los Angeles in the 1980s).
The Olympic story is enhanced with images of everything from a multiple exposure recording of Nadia Comaneci's 1976 balance beam performance to the 1968 medal stand protest of Tommie Smith and John Carlos to Olympic posters and mascots. If the Olympic Games are covered as well on network-TV as they are in this book, we've got a great summer ahead.