New Books in Urban Studies podcast

Adam Berg, "The Olympics that Never Happened: Denver '76 and the Politics of Growth" (U Texas Press, 2023)

15 Sekunden vorwärts
15 Sekunden vorwärts
If you don't recall the 1976 Denver Olympic Games, it's because they never happened. The Mile-High City won the right to host the winter games and then was forced by Colorado citizens to back away from its successful Olympic bid through a statewide ballot initiative. In The Olympics that Never Happened: Denver '76 and the Politics of Growth (University of Texas Press, 2022) Dr. Adam Berg details the powerful Colorado regime that gained the games for Denver and the grassroots activism that brought down its Olympic dreams, and he explores the legacy of this milestone moment for the games and politics in the United States. The ink was hardly dry on Denver's host agreement when Mexican American and African American urbanites, white middle-class environmentalists, and fiscally concerned local politicians realised opposition to the Olympics provided them new political openings. The Olympics quickly became a platform for taking stands on a range of issues, from conservation to urban livability to the very idea of growth, which for decades had been unquestioned in Colorado. The Olympics That Never Happened argues that hostility to the Olympics galvanised and empowered diverse citizens in a major US city, with long-term ramifications for Colorado and political activism elsewhere. The Olympics themselves were changed forever, compelling organisers to take seriously competing interests from subgroups within their communities. *Please note a correction from the discussion: Federico Pena was not the first person of color elected mayor in a major American city. He was the first to be elected mayor in a major American city with a majority white populace. (Henry Cisneros was elected mayor of San Antonio in 1981, before Pena in 1983) This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose new book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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