Tom McNab’s 1936 is a thrilling take on the 1936 Berlin Olympics, best remembered for Jesse Owens’s haul of five gold medals and for being a pivotal moment in Hitler’s rise to power.

1936 balances the personal stories of the athletes with the politics and in-fighting leading up to the games, laying bare the greed and unscrupulous ambition of the key players at the time.

In London’s Olympic year, 1936 is a fascinating examination of the political impact of hosting the games at a time when Hitler’s position in Germany was precarious. The games provided invaluable propaganda for the Nazi movement but presented a moral dilemma for the athletes and other nations involved. The extraordinary power politics prior to the Second World War are played out by a cast of 9, portraying the people whose decisions could have changed history.

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