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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Large Print / Hardcover)
all-encompassing account of the UW crew who won gold at Hitler’s 1936 Olympics
will have you postponing the dog’s bath and putting off dinner preparations in
order to read just one more chapter. It describes the individual oarsmen,
all students from working class families who can barely afford each year’s
tuition. It explains the strategies involved in racing. It recounts
rivalries between Washington and Berkley crews and those between the East coast
elite and the upstarts from the West. As the story progresses and a trip
to the Olympics seems possible, there’s the tension of selecting the perfect
crew. And of course there’s Berlin, with Hitler and Goebbels determined to
impress the world with a seemingly utopian Germany. All in all it’s an exciting
and totally satisfying read. ~ Ann,
July 2013 Indie Next List
“n the early 1930's, nine young University of Washington students are part of the rowing crew striving to achieve the final pick to become the team to represent the USA at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin as Hitler brazenly builds his Third Reich. Fiercely determined by the hard times of the Great Depression, this is an emotional story of the crew and those who put their trust in them as they put their hearts into 'sculpting”
— Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA
For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit" and "Unbroken," the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics
"Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together--a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.
Drawing on the boys' own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, "The Boys in the Boat "is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times--the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam's "The Amateurs."
About the Author
Daniel James Brown is the author of two previous nonfiction books, "Under a Flaming Sky" and "The Indifferent Stars Above." He has taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford. He lives near Seattle.