Ghost Runners: An Olympic Dream Betrayed

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robert rubenstein
August 31, 2022
Ghost Runners: An Olympic Dream Betrayed


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August 18, 2022
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Only recently have I come to realize why Ghost Runners is a lifetime obsession: The effects of racial or gender discrimination never end. There is no justice, no mercy for its victims. ... presently updating the prequel to The Ghost Runners, a savage indictment of American racism and sexism in the roaring twenties, called The White Bridge. "Once, Jesse Owens raced in a storm, under black clouds, lit with horizontal rain, in the crosswinds, when dust, blew in his face. He experienced the sure fire of white heat; then lightning crashed about him like cymbals. It was music playing from flutes, from lyres, from songs of Olympus in a Grecian chorus, in the orchestra of the immortals. He never really wanted to win the race with man. Jesse ran for the joy of the chase, his soul, wanting only to be free to touch the heels of paradise." Joshua Sellers and Bobby Gillman have made the American Olympic team and are poised to run as Jewish-American athletes. But what happens to Joshua as he gets ready to run for an Olympic gold medal in the crosswinds under the crooked cross of Nazi Berlin? Racing with irony through the veins of inevitable, bitter history, Ghost Runners exposes the far-reaching menace of American anti-Semitism and illuminates the truth about the American dream. It is also a story of friendship in the face of a great rivalry. "I needed you, Josh," said Jesse Owens, "We were both on the same side. My place could only be first if you were there, racing beside me." "Besides you? I wanted to run through you. I wanted to beat you in a foot race." For women, sports-minded men, and young adults, based on real events surrounding the 4 x 100 Meter Relay American Olympic team in Berlin,1936. Both a love story, a sports story, and a cautionary tale of friendship in a time of evil, the finish line is set in both the past and the future. An unforgettable, transforming odyssey. Ghost Runners: An Olympic Dream Betrayed. Robert Rubenstein.

A wonderful, suspenseful, well-written, touching book, and it is highly recommended. The great strength of the book is its wonderful treatment of the contemporary atmosphere in Brooklyn & Berlin, which gives a very authentic feel for the time. The characters are very vividly drawn as well, so much so that they almost beg for some kind of movie treatment."
Severin Hochberg was formerly a historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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