Pierre de Coubertin was responsible for the founding of the modern Olympics. Its antique ideals were consecrated in a painting by his father, an artist of the French salon, who pictured modern sportsmen from Paris paying tribute to Athena. The fourth chapter analyses the most notorious visual artwork concerning the games, Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia. Promoted as a documentary of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but enjoying state patronage from the fascist regime, the status of this film is highly contested in the fields of history and film studies. Here, it is argued that the film evinces attitudes not incompatible with, although not reducible to, Coubertin’s own conflicted views on modernity. This is contrasted with László Moholy-Nagy’s abortive project to film the same games, before a consideration of Gustav Klucis’ constructivist designs for the Soviet response to the Olympics, the Spartakiada, and other constructivist engagements with sport in light of the Soviet emphasis on fizkultura (physical culture).
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.