The Austerity Olympics

Political and social history of the first post-war Olympics, with interviews from over 100 competitors, spectators and judges.


“Janie Hampton vividly brings alive the cast of key characters and circumstances that shaped the 1948 Games.” — Sebastian Coe

“Marvellously rich…” — The Financial Times

“This worthy offering is a perceptive and jaunty account which also manages to whet the appetite for London 2012.” — The Times

“This is a gold medal performance which deserves success.” — Journal of Olympic History

“For those who abhor the bloated, cheat-dominated, winning-is-everything monster of the Olympics, I recommend you switch off the television when the Games begin and open this splendid book instead.” — The Oldie

“How London contrived in 1948 almost by accident, to create one of the friendliest games in history.” — Sunday Times

“Janie Hampton’s new book wonderfully evokes the atmosphere of post-war Britain. A fine account which places in context the orgy of cash, angst and celebration which we can confidently anticipate in 2012.” — History Today

“Hampton has researched her subject with an awesome thoroughness, interviewing many people who attended and competed in 1948. A schoolgirl remembers the thrill of holding Fanny Blankers-Koen’s cardigan as she strode off, in driving rain, to unleash one of her easy joyful runs.” — Daily Telegraph

“Hampton’s excellent book should be compulsory reading for everyone.” — Daily Mail

“A jaw-dropping reality check. A perceptive and jaunty account.” — The Times

“Absolutely fascinating&helllip;” — Peter Kemp, BBC Radio 4

“Full of surprising facts and curious anecdotes.” — Evening Standard

“An enthralling account of an Olympic Games that had one foot in the past, the other in the future.” — The Independent

“Hampton has managed to capture the essence and quintessence of all the different sports. When she was writing about athletics I found myself convinced that she was an athletics correspondent, on the rowing ‐ well she was up there with Dan Topolski and on the riding, wrestling and sailing I just knew I was reading things written by an expert. I fell in love with Fanny Blankers Koehn, I envied the US diving girls their glorious silky bathing suits, I was entranced by the art of fencing and I wished I’d been in Torbay. The facts, figures and details are so cleverly woven in to the tale that it works really well. The great delight of this book is that it makes you feel as if Janie Hampton was there herself.” — 5★ amazon review by Julia

“I would highly recommend this book. It is really well written, a fascinating topic and will have you laughing all the way round the athletics track. … Will amuse and entertain even those, like me, who loathe sport in action.” — 5★ amazon review by Mrs A Walker

“For those who like statistics and records above all else this is not the book for you. Evokes the real spirit of the games and the people involved in putting them on.” — 5★ amazon review by Martyn