Olympic Affair: A Novel of Hitler's Siren and America's Hero

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Taylor Trade Publications, Dec 16, 2012 - Fiction - 336 pages
9 Reviews
Though not a member of the National Socialist Party, Leni Riefenstahl was the filmmaker darling of the Nazis and Adolf Hitler. First a successful dancer and actress in Germany, she became more notorious when she produced and directed Victory of Faith and Triumph of the Will, the chilling documentaries about Nazi Party Congresses at Nuremberg.

Glenn Morris was an All-American farm boy from tiny Simla, Colorado, as well as a former college football star and student body president at the school now known as Colorado State University. At the 1936 Olympics, he won the decathlon, earning him the label “the world’s greatest athlete.” Among the American heroes at the Berlin Games, he was considered second only to Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals.

Riefenstahl and Morris: An unlikely couple? Perhaps, but in her 1987 memoirs, the German filmmaker belatedly confirmed she had an affair with the American athlete during the filming of Olympia, Riefenstahl’s documentary about the Berlin Games. In fact, she portrayed it as much more than a dalliance, saying that she had dreamed of marrying Morris and that he broke her heart. Morris, who went on to Hollywood, the National Football League, and military service, spoke sparingly of the relationship, but mused late in life that he “should have stayed in Germany with Leni.”

In Olympic Affair, author Terry Frei turns to historical fiction in a novel researched in much the same fashion as his widely praised works of nonfiction, including Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming and Third Down and a War to Go. Using deduction, imagination and narrative skill to augment documented fact (as well as debunk myths parroted for many years), Frei tells the story of their ill-fated affair . . . and beyond.

Read the first chapter of Olympic Affair here.



 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shuffy2 - LibraryThing

Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl and US Olympic hopeful Glenn Morris meet at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. With tensions on the rise between the two countries, can love blind them to world ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - etxgardener - LibraryThing

The non-fiction book written as a novel has become very popular ever since the success of Devil in the White City and author Terry Frei has apparently written several sports oriented books in this ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter 01 Lenis Visit
1
Chapter 02 Glenns Trials
7
Chapter 03 Lenis Truth
13
Chapter 04 Dempsey Runyon Morris
19
Chapter 05 Bon Voyage
26
Chapter 06 Onboard Bonding
39
Chapter 07 Fire and Fury
49
Chapter 08 Most Handsome
56
Chapter 21 Lenis Idea
175
Chapter 22 The Führers Box
182
Chapter 23 Vaulting into the Night
191
Chapter 24 Decathlon Day One
200
Chapter 25 Decathlon Day Two
208
Chapter 26 1500 Meters
216
Chapter 27 Glenns Gold
224
Chapter 28 Unwanted Company
231

Chapter 09 Queen of the Castle
62
Chapter 10 Zehnkampf Zehnkampf
73
Chapter 11 The First Looks
81
Chapter 12 Max Schmeling Center
88
Chapter 13 Sauerbraten Champagne
99
Chapter 14 The Blue Light
109
Chapter 15 Arent You Thomas Wolfe?
122
Chapter 16 Helpless American
130
Chapter 17 SOS Iceberg
138
Chapter 18 Opening Gambits
146
Chapter 19 High Jump High Drama
158
Chapter 20 Lenis Tantrum
165
Chapter 29 The Spirit of What Youre Saying
243
Chapter 30 On Tour
249
Chapter 31 Glenn Meet Eva
256
Chapter 32 Leni and Glenn
264
Chapter 33 Triumph of the Will
272
Chapter 34 Homecoming and Hollywood
284
Chapter 35 Olympia USA
299
Epilogue
307
Authors Afterword
311
Appendix
321
Resources
325
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Award-winning journalist, author, and screenwriter Terry Frei is in his second stint with the Denver Post. A native of Oregon, he has also written for the (Portland) Oregonian and the Sporting News; for eight years he was a featured columnist on ESPN.com. Among his previous books are Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming; 77: Denver, the Broncos, and a Coming of Age; and Playing Piano in a Brothel. He and his wife, Helen, live in Denver. His website is www.terryfrei.com.


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