David Maraniss loves to write about three things - sports, politics and history. He found the perfect combination of those for his latest book titled "Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World." Well-known athletes like Cassius Clay, Wilma Rudolph and Rafer Johnson competed and won that year. The performances by those three African-Americans also helped change perceptions of race and gender issues in the United States. The Olympics of 1960 saw the first international drug doping scandal, it was the first summer games to be commercially broadcast and it marked the beginning of the end for the truly amateur Olympic athlete. And international politics were in upheaval in 1960. The Cold War was raging as rumors of defections swirled around Rome, the Berlin Wall was about to separate East and West Germany, former colonies in Africa were becoming new independent nations able to decide which super power to befriend and Taiwan was at the height of its independence battle against China. As the world gets ready for the politically-charged atmosphere of Beijing's 2008 Olympics, I hope you'll find a look back at Rome of 1960 to be enlightening and informative.
To see photos of the 1960 Olympics, click here.
Click here for a brief bio of David Maraniss.