Something in the Air : American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Paperback / softback Book

Something in the Air : American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics Paperback / softback


Something in the Air is Richard Hoffer's gripping sports narrative that tells the individual stories of the athletes who gathered in Mexico City in 1968, a year of dramatic upheaval around the world.

Racial tensions were high on the U.S. Olympic team, where inflamed black athletes had to choose between demands for justice, on the one hand, and loyalty to country, on the other. Although basketball star Lew Alcindor (later to become the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) decided not to participate, heavyweight boxer George Foreman not only competed and won a gold medal but waved a miniature American flag at foreign judges.

Sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos became as famous for their raised-fist gestures of protest as for their speed on the track.

No one was prepared for Bob Beamon's long jump, which broke the world record by a staggering twenty-two inches. And then there was Dick Fosbury, the goofball high jumper whose backward, upside-down approach to the bar (the "Fosbury Flop") baffled his coaches while breaking records. Filled with human drama, Something in the Air is a powerful, unforgettable tale that will resonate with sports fans and readers of social history alike.

This edition features a new afterword by the author on the fiftieth anniversary of the Olympics.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 276 pages, index
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Black & Asian studies
  • ISBN: 9781496211774

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