London leaders looked to Barcelona as a model for Olympic success and did whatever they could to get there, from rigging traffic lights for Olympic officials to selling Tony Blair's government on a phony budget.
When London threw its name into the hat for the 2012 Olympics, many had doubts. Not former sport minister Tessa Jowell. Interviewing Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone, and others Jowell recruited to her cause, Michael Joseph Gross details the grueling, often farcical campaign that won the city its prize—plus a $14.5 billion tab.
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