- The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Towards a Global History of Communism
- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels on Communism
- Lenin and Bolshevism
- Stalin and Stalinism
- Mao and Maoism
- The Comintern
- Communism in Eastern Europe
- Communism in China, 1900–2010
- Communism in South East Asia
- Communism in Latin America
- Communism in the Islamic World
- Communism in Africa
- Political and Economic Relations between Communist States
- Averting Armageddon: The Communist Peace Movement, 1948–1956
- The Cult of Personality and Symbolic Politics
- Communist Revolution and Political Terror
- Popular Opinion Under Communist Regimes
- Communism and Economic Modernization
- Collectivization and Famine
- The Politics of Plenty: Consumerism in Communist Societies
- The Life of a Communist Militant
- Rural Life
- Workers under Communism: Romance and Reality
- Communism and Women
- Privilege and Inequality in Communist Society
- Nation-Making and National Conflict under Communism
- Cultural Revolution
- Communism and the Artistic Intelligentsia
- Popular Culture
- Religion under Communism
- Sport Under Communism
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines sport in the Soviet Union, East Germany, and China. Despite the early Soviet emphasis on mass physical culture, high-performance sport was the priority of these regimes and all three notionally used ‘amateurism’ to enhance national prestige. Having started out as opponents of Olympism, all three at different times came to prioritize winning medals at the Olympic Games. Despite similarities in the organization of sport—the state played a significant role and ties to the military and police were strong in all three countries—there were significant differences between them: China rejected competitive sport for much of the Mao era, whereas sport was one arena in which the GDR outshone West Germany. The article shows that during the Cold War sport was as much an arena of competition between socialist states as it was between the capitalist and communist worlds.
Robert Edelman is a professor of Russian history and the history of sport at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Serious Fun: A History of Spectator Sports in the USSR (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993) and Spartak Moscow: the People’s Team in the Workers’ State (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009). He is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Sports History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) and is currently writing a global history of sport during the Cold War.
Anke Hilbrenner teaches in the Department of East European History, University of Bonn, Germany. Her latest publications include ‘Looking at European Sports from an Eastern European Perspective’, European Review, 19.4 (2011), 595–610 (with Britta Lenz); and ‘European Sport Historiography: Challenges and Opportunities’, Journal of Sport History, 38.2 (2011), 181–8 (with Christopher Young and Alan Tomlinson).
Susan Brownell is a professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri–St Louis. She is the author of Training the Body for China: Sports in the Moral Order of the People’s Republic (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).
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