First of all, before getting to the book, a huge shout out to Lisa and others at Sport in History for doing a marvellous job of compassionately commissioning and patiently editing reviews for the journal Sport in History. I am a proud member of the British Society of Sports History and snapped up the opportunity to review Heather Dichter’s Bidding for the 1968 Olympic Games publication!
A few reflections on the reviewing process:
- It takes longer than you think! Lisa and the journal offer a six month turnaround time, this sounds like enough but definitely factor in the time to draft and redraft the review. A classic mantra for any academic writing endeavour;
- It is challenging (especially as this is my first official review) to go beyond describing what a book does and think through less successful aspects or missed opportunities. I spoke with other colleagues to express this concern and listen to their experiences and tips, this will differ depending on the discipline. Writing for a history journal allowed me to think about what historians would want to know about this book, rather than sport management, politics, sociology scholars #theory #methodology;
- It is useful to plan to review a book when you are in the midst of planning/collating your own work. Reading Heather’s book (and many others) offers a glimpse into… what could be. I am sure the Bidding for the 1968 Olympic Games went through a lengthy process of revisions and rejigging, but it is valuable to analyse a book like this and consider how to present a large body of work in one book;
- It helps to read the book in different environments, I often read academic books at a desk or in a professional setting in dribs and drabs. I treated this book and the reading process in a slightly different way, taking it on holiday (apt. as I went to Bulgaria) and allowed myself to become a reviewer rather than a reader… another blog for another day to think through the difference between being a reviewer and reader!
Now to the book and review…
Bidding for the 1968 Olympic Games: International Sport’s Cold War Battle with NATO – https://www.umasspress.com/9781625345950/bidding-for-the-1968-olympic-games/ – this is the publisher’s webpage and the book is available to buy via most retailers around the world. Prices will vary and differ from both screengrabs below, mostly depending on the exchange rates.
Published review in Sport in History – https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17460263.2022.2133398 – this piece is behind a paywall, but I do have some hardcopies to distribute. Please contact me if you are unable to access.
Happy to chat about anything to do with the book review process or this particular book, please get in touch.