I just finished reading Guy Walters‘ excellent book Berlin Games: How the Nazis Stole the Olympic Dream. I’ve done research on some of the Canadian groups that organized resistance to the 1936 Olympics, and so I appreciate Walters’ efforts in preserving some more of the very important history around this event. What happened in and around the 1936 Berlin Games has more influence than we’d like to think on the ceremonies and structures of the Olympics we see now.
The book is extremely well researched and engagingly written, and I very much enjoyed reading it. But what I want to share from the book is one of the best author acknowledgements I’ve ever seen. On p. 321:
I would NOT like to thank the British Library’s Newspaper Archive at Colindale in London, where I found the truculence of the staff an immense hindrance, and the policy of closing at 4:45 utterly absurd. That institution needs to be pulled by its hair into the twenty-first century.
(To be fair, Walters also gives effusive praise to many archives and libraries that were very helpful to him. But I applaud him for calling out the one that wasn’t, and doing it so entertaingly.)