Olympic Dreams

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-05-31
  • Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr

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Already the world has seen the political, economic, and cultural significance of hosting the 2008 Olympics in Beijing-in policies instituted and altered, positions softened, projects undertaken. But will the Olympics make a lasting difference? This book approaches questions about the nature and future of China through the lens of sports-particularly as sports finds its utmost international expression in the Olympics.Drawing on newly available archival sources to analyze a hundred-year perspective on sports in China, Olympic Dreams explores why the country became obsessed with Western sports at the turn of the twentieth century, and how it relates to Chinars"s search for a national and international identity. Through case studies of ping-pong diplomacy and the Chinese handling of various sporting events, the book offers unexpected details and unusual insight into the patterns and processes of Chinars"s foreign policymaking-insights that will help readers understand Chinars"s interactions with the rest of the world.Among the questions Xu Guoqi brings to the fore are: Why did Mao Zedong choose competitive ping-pong to manipulate world politics? How did the two-China issue nearly kill the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games? And why do the 2008 Olympics present Beijing with unprecedented dangers and opportunities? In exploring these questions, Xu brilliantly articulates a fresh and surprising perspective on China as an international sport superpower as well as a new "sick man of East Asia." In Olympic Dreams, he presents an eloquent argument that in the deeply unsettled China of today, sport, as a focus of popular interest, has the capacity to bring about major social changes.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Note on Romanizationp. xii
Introductionp. 1
Strengthening the Nation with Warlike Spiritp. 12
Reimagining China through International Sportsp. 35
Modern Sports and Nationalism in Chinap. 55
The Two-China Questionp. 75
The Sport of Ping-Pong Diplomacyp. 117
The Montreal Games: Politics Challenge the Olympic Idealp. 164
China Awakens: The Post-Mao Erap. 197
Beijing 2008p. 225
Conclusionp. 265
Notesp. 275
Selected Glossaryp. 321
Selected Bibliographyp. 325
Acknowledgmentsp. 355
Illustration Creditsp. 361
Indexp. 363
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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