I’d heard of Jesse Owens, of course, before I picked up this little twenty-four page biography. I knew that he was some sort of famous athlete from the 1900s, but I’ve never made a study of athletes, and have never been interested in doing so. So I arrived at Jesse Owens a blank slate.
Perhaps if I had already known his story I would have found this book brief and uninteresting, but instead I found it very interesting. Of particular interest were the Berlin Games, Owens’ famous Olympic debut, which featured an extreme amount of racial tension, held as it was in Nazi Germany and controlled by the idea that Aryans were superior in all points to other races. By competing and winning before Hitler himself, Owens showed both a courage and a threat that could not be ignored by the world.
Conclusion. At twenty-four pages this tiny book obviously only scratches the surface of Owens’ life, but it was nevertheless interesting.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret