New Book Takes Readers Inside Controversial Summer Olympics Hosted By Nazi Regime

New Book Takes Readers Inside Controversial Summer Olympics Hosted By Nazi Regime

WINTHROP, Mass. — In their powerful new book, PLAYED: The Games of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, authors Glenn Allen and Richard Kaufman turn 25 years of painstaking research into a smoldering cauldron of politics, sports, espionage and courage that brings to life key characters at the center of the controversy like never before.

“Would the Holocaust have happened had the U.S. boycotted the 1936 Berlin Olympics?” the authors ask in their book. It’s a question with no answer, but it plants the seed for readers to ponder, What if?

Based on real stories and real people involved in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, PLAYED plunges readers into a compelling, fictionalized account of the insanity and hysteria that unfolded across Germany, the United States and in much of the world from 1931 through 1936.

At the center of the controversy in the U.S. is American Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage. Unmoved by the new Nazi regime’s anti-Jewish doctrines, Brundage leads the fight to participate in the 1936 Berlin Games after much debate of a U.S. boycott. Brundage desperately wants to be on the International Olympic Committee. If he doesn’t get the Americans to Berlin, he can kiss that dream goodbye.

When the vote is decided in Brundage’s favor, AP Sports Editor Alan J. Gould, friend and champion of the athletes, travels to Berlin to cover all of the “games” being played. Through his eyes readers see the machinations of Brundage’s complicity with the Nazis, the tenacity of the proud American athletes and the extreme pressure from the Nazis on their German athletes. Their stories, heartbreaking and tragic, give rise to feats of heroism that go beyond the playing field.

Along the way readers meet some of the most famous people of the time: Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Goebbels, Leni Riefenstahl, Eva Braun and the madman himself, who vowed to “make Germany great again,” Adolf Hitler.

“Of course, we can’t go back in time and change history insomuch as we can change the outcome of a sporting event,” the authors added. “But we’re obligated to study history because it teaches us how to move forward. At least we hope it does.”

About the Authors

Richard Kaufman and Glenn Allen have been writing together for over 25 years. They have numerous projects in development, including scripted feature films, docuseries, television series, and have co-written and produced two award-winning independent films, all under the banner Green Bandana, a TV/film development company the two co-created in 2015.

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PLAYED: The Games of the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Publisher: WordServe Publishing

Available from and


“A brilliantly written, absorbing book which puts the full impact of the ’36 Olympic games—and its aftermath—into proper perspective. Seldom does a book immediately draw you in like this one does. An important book about a critical time in world history.”

Erik Sherman, New York Times bestselling author

“As a fan of The Boys in the Boat and Citizens of London this novel did not disappoint. A clever and captivating look behind the scenes of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I couldn’t put it down.”

Daniel P. Hanley, Academy Award-winning editor, Apollo 13