The man who won 24 Olympic gold medals for the United States isn’t Michael Phelps or Mark Spitz or even Jesse Owens. In fact, he didn’t compete in any Olympic sport. Yet he swung America’s attention to the importance of the Olympic Games as no other American had ever done — and turned Olympic gold into a rebirth of the American spirit.
Historian Arthur Herman is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institution Washington, D.C. He is author of eight books, including New York Times bestseller How the Scots Invented the Modern World (2001); the Pulitzer Prize Finalist Gandhi and Churchill (2008); To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World (nominated for the UK’s Mountbatten Prize); and the highly acclaimed Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, which The Economist magazine picked as one of the Best Books of 2012, as well as The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization (Random House 2013). His latest book, Douglas MacArthur: American Warrior, was released by Random House on June 14. A Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, he can be reached on Twitter @ArthurLHerman.