'Not Just a Game,' by Dr. Doug Zipes


INDIANAPOLIS-A noted Indiana University cardiologist, Dr. Doug Zipes, has published his third novel, a historical thriller titled "Not Just a Game." 

The book follows three generations of Olympic athletes over eight decades, culminating in intrigue and danger at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

With some historical basis in fact and characters loosely based on real people, Zipes' story chronicles the challenges of Olympic competition experienced by a grandfather, father, and daughter from one Jewish family.

Zipes dedicates "Not Just a Game" to the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches taken hostage and killed by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich. He credits Ankiee Spitzer, widow of one of the "Munich Eleven," for lobbying the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to formally recognize and honor the slain, who gave their lives to their sport and their country. 

"I have been in contact with Ankiee and sent her a copy of the book. She hopes the IOC will, in some way, recognize the Munich Eleven during the 2016 games in Rio," he noted.

"Not Just a Game" also explores the noncompetitive aspects of athletics, including the influence of global politics on the international Olympic Games, the roots of racism, anti-Semitism, and their modern-day legacies, speculation about whether Hitler escaped from Germany alive using priceless art and looted treasures to buy his way into Argentina, and the lasting dynamics of dark family secrets.

Zipes says he wanted to write a novel that portrayed Jews as a tough, resilient people who fight back, countering the stereotype of millions who meekly went to their deaths during the Holocaust.

"I also wanted to write a book that demonstrates anti-Semitism still exists. It is as virulent as modern anti-Muslim or anti-gay movements. While ISIS has certainly committed many horrible acts, in my view, none compare to the atrocities committed by Nazis dedicated to the Third Reich." 

While the fictional family in Zipes' novel discovers painful secrets, many experts believe Hitler also went to great lengths to hide dark family and personal secrets. Zipes acknowledges the work of numerous sources influencing his portrayal of the Fuhrer as an evil, deeply disturbed man.

Why does this noted Hoosier medical expert and dedicated family man write suspense novels in his spare time?

After reading a bestselling novel written by a physician about 20 years ago, Zipes said he simply thought he could do better-although, he concedes, it isn't as easy as writing research articles for scientific journals.

Zipes joined the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1970, where he was promoted to full professor in 1976 and named a Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, and Toxicology in 1994. He directed IU's cardiology program for nearly 10 years, overseeing its Krannert Institute of Cardiology until 2004.

Dr. Zipes has published 16 medical textbooks and more than 850 medical articles. He currently writes a health column for the Saturday Evening Post. In addition to "Not Just a Game," Doug Zipes has written and published two other mystery/suspense novels, "The Black Widows" and "Ripples in Opperman's Pond." 

Hardcover and Kindle versions of "Not Just a Game" can be purchased online at Amazon.com. Contact him at 317.697.2406 or dzipes@iu.edu.


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