BJ - Sports and Recreation

Das Mercedes-Benz-Rennfahrer-Lexikon: die 240 schnellsten Mitarbeiter von Mercedes-Benz. [A Compendium of Mercedes-Benz Race Car Drivers: The 240 Fastest Mercedes-Benz Colleagues]. Hartmut Lehbrink. Königswinter: Heel, 2009. 256 p. ill. 28 cm. ISBN 978-3-86852-103-0: EUR 29.90

The compiler of this volume is a motor-sports journalist with a total of 20 (primarily pictorial) works on the subject to his credit, according to the catalog of the German National Library. This latest book, while also richly illustrated, is mostly text. The 240 biographies of race car drivers who have been employed by Mercedes-Benz, or raced using Mercedes engines, present a history of automobile racing seen through the lens of the well-known Stuttgart manufacturer.

The book does not follow a single alphabetical arrangement but rather is divided into nine alphabetical sequences under chronological or generic (Grand Prix, Formula 1, GT, etc.) rubrics. The individual entries are mostly brief, and, apart from the birth and—if applicable—death dates in the header, follow no formal structure. The tone of the writing is journalistic and decidedly aimed toward a popular audience. Particularly in the case of the 33 longer entries, this approach makes the articles difficult to scan for basic data. In comparison, better-organized blurbs on some of the same individuals can also be found in Wikipedia, featuring more detailed headers as well as tables for race results and—more significantly—bibliographical references. The latter are wholly absent in the work under review, which also means that no reference is made to the— assumedly rare—instances an individual may also have an entry in the DNB (German National Biography), what might, after all, be considered a mark of considerable distinction. Consider this is a book for fans of automobile racing, but even they might want additional and better sources of information, especially for the more prominent drivers featured here. [sh/kst]

Jüdischer Sport und Sport der Juden in Deutschland: eine kommentierte Bibliografie [Jewish Sports and Sports of the Jews in Germany: An Annotated Bibliography]. Lorenz Peiffer and Henry Wahlig. Göttingen: Verlag die Werkstatt, 2009. 109 p. 21 cm. ISBN 978-3-89533-709-3: EUR 14.90

The Hannover sports historian Lorenz Pfeiffer and his colleagues have compiled a series of annotated bibliographies on the history of sports in Germany, such as Zum aktuellen Forschungsstand der Geschichte von Körperkultur und Sport in der DDR: eine kommentierte Bibliografie [On the Current State of Research on the History of Exercise and Sports in the GDR: An Annotated Bibliography] (Köln, 2003) and Sport im Nationalsozialismus: zum aktuellen Stand der sporthistorischen Forschung: eine kommentierte Bibliografie [Sports in National Socialism: The Current State of Research on Sports History: An Annotated Bibliography] (Göppingen, 2009). The present bibliography was preceded by his 2001 bibliographic essay, “Jüdischer Sport in Deutschland,” in SportZeiten 1 (2001). It was imperative to expand and update that work in light of research done in recent years. The methodology employed is similar to that of Pfeiffer’s other annotated bibliographies. The bibliography itself is preceded by a detailed and critical review article, which comments on the areas of research and also points out deficits. Titles are not annotated separately, due to the large amount of literature available.

Twenty-three chapters contain some 700 titles, mostly in German and English and including “gray literature” like theses and degree papers, organization Festschriften, journal articles, and selected electronic publications. Particularly long are chapter 4 (Jewish gymnastic and sports organizations), chapter 11 (regional and local studies), and chapter 12 (biographical studies). Chapter 19 departs from the title and details sports of the Jews in Austria before and after the 1938 Anschluss. The profound comments on the state of research and the detailed outline of the bibliography enable a quick search for relevant publications. All important areas of the subject are considered. In the chapter on biographical studies we find famous Jewish athletes, trainers, and functionaries. As in the earlier bibliographies there is no index of persons, especially persons cited as subjects (not just in the biographies). Such an index would make this excellent body of specialized literature even more accessible. [mk/gh]

Das goldene Zeitalter des italienischen Films: die 1960er Jahre [The Golden Age of Italian Film: The 1960s]. Ed. Thomas Koebner and Irmbert Schenk. München: Edition Text + Kritik, 2008. 535 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 978-3-88377- 923-2: EUR 34

Irmbert Schenk of the University of Bremen is one of those all-too-rare German scholars who has not only studied Italian film over many years but has successfully maintained contacts and encouraged collaborative efforts between German and Italian film scholars. In Dr. Schenk‘s honor, an international symposium was held in 2006 at the University of Mainz; this volume contains 31 authors‘ contributions to it, some in German translation. The appendix offers a chronological list of Italian films of the decade together with dates of production and performance in Italy, the presentation of the authors, and a comprehensive name index of over 1,100 entries.

In its concentration on the great directors of Italian film (Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Rossellini, Francesco Rosi, Damiano Damiani, Pietro Germi, Dino Risi), as well as its broad sketch of film production and its attention to certain themes, genres (epic film, spaghetti western, farce, horror), and characteristics, this volume successfully presents the breadth and the particularity of artistic and popular film production in Italy in the 1960s. [wub/rb]

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Last update: January 2013 [LC]
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