Jesse Owens, the Press, and the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games
Routledge – 2015 – 224 pages
Jesse Owens secured his place as one of the most celebrated athletes of the twentieth-century after winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. This book examines the press coverage of the time, which helped to elevate Owens to such status. Pamela C. Laucella utilizes examples not just from the mainstream press, but also from the black and Communist press, and reveals critical differences in the tone, emphasis, and type of coverage. She offers exceptional insight into the potency of language and discourse in influencing readers’ perceptions of events and individuals and demonstrates how the press coverage of the 1930s continues to shape our understandings of Owens’ legacy.
Introduction 1. The Press Treatment of Race and Jesse Owens 2. Grantland Rice’s Coverage of Owens 3. The Mainstream Writers 4. The Black Newspapers 5. The American Communist Press’ Treatment of Jesse Owens 6. Conclusions. Notes. Bibliography. Index
Pamela C. Laucella is an Assistant Professor of Sport Communication at Indiana University.