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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

by

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Cover

ISBN13: 9780143125471
ISBN10: 0143125478
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

Brown masterfully narrates the tale of the 1936 American Olympic rowing team and their gold medal triumph. He paints a vivid picture of the men in the boat, their world, and their sport. A fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.
Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

“For those who like adventure stories straight-up, The Boys in the Boat… is this year's closest approximation of Unbroken….It's about the University of Washington's crew team: 'Nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant.” New York Times

Review:

“If you imagined a great regatta of books about rowing, then Brown's Boys in the Boat certainly makes the final heat….” Boston Globe

Review:

“The astonishing story of the UW's 1936 eight-oar varsity crew and its rise from obscurity to fame,…The individual stories of these young men are almost as compelling as the rise of the team itself. Brown excels at weaving those stories with the larger narrative, all culminating in the 1936 Olympic Games…A story this breathtaking demands an equally compelling author, and Brown does not disappoint. The narrative rises inexorably, with the final 50 pages blurring by with white-knuckled suspense as these all-American underdogs pull off the unimaginable.” The Seattle Times

Review:

“Those who enjoy reading about Olympic history or amateur or collegiate sports will savor Brown's superb book.” Library Journal (Starred)

Synopsis:

The New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany.

Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times — the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington's eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man's personal quest.

About the Author

Daniel James Brown is the author of two previous nonfiction books, The Indifferent Stars Above and Under a Flaming Sky. He lives outside of Seattle.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Lauri F, August 7, 2014 (view all comments by Lauri F)
Daniel James Brown does an EXCELLENT job of engaging the reader immediately in this story about the winners of the 1936 Olympic 8-man rowing team from the University of Washington, Seattle. He introduces you to the men and their trials through the depression, and carries you through the nail-biting experiences leading to their Olympic win. I enjoyed the walk through the historic events of the time and the description of the preparations Germany made for the Olympics, especially the deceptive tactics the Nazis were taking to create a favorable impression to the world. I was initially drawn to the book because my son is on a crew team at a university in Washington. The book was such a good read that I recommend it to everyone.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
JLS, July 7, 2014 (view all comments by JLS)
This book was a delight. It brought back memories of the bit of rowing I experienced in college, realistically described the challenges of life in the '30's for students who had little to no money, and described a very real sense of what it is actually like, training in a crew shell on a lake. I loved the way Brown described how it can be when "the boat" "swings." What an amazing high feeling! The excitement and stresses of the Berlin Olympics were also brought to life from the personal point of view of "the boys," and the author's historical research brought a broader world view to this very personal story. These "boys" and their coaches are actual American heroes I had never know about before! Wonderful book!
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Teacherman, July 2, 2014 (view all comments by Teacherman)
Great job teaching history and telling a wonderful story.
I hated to have it end.
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(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143125471
Subtitle:
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Author:
Brown, Daniel James
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Olympics
Subject:
Sports and Fitness-Sports General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20140531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
Featured Titles » New Favorites » Nonfiction
Featured Titles » Staff Favorites
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Canoeing, Kayaking, and Rafting
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Olympics
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Rowing
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General
Transportation » Nautical » Boats » Boating
Transportation » Nautical » General

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.90 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143125471 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Brown masterfully narrates the tale of the 1936 American Olympic rowing team and their gold medal triumph. He paints a vivid picture of the men in the boat, their world, and their sport. A fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.

"Review" by , “For those who like adventure stories straight-up, The Boys in the Boat… is this year's closest approximation of Unbroken….It's about the University of Washington's crew team: 'Nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant.”
"Review" by , “If you imagined a great regatta of books about rowing, then Brown's Boys in the Boat certainly makes the final heat….”
"Review" by , “The astonishing story of the UW's 1936 eight-oar varsity crew and its rise from obscurity to fame,…The individual stories of these young men are almost as compelling as the rise of the team itself. Brown excels at weaving those stories with the larger narrative, all culminating in the 1936 Olympic Games…A story this breathtaking demands an equally compelling author, and Brown does not disappoint. The narrative rises inexorably, with the final 50 pages blurring by with white-knuckled suspense as these all-American underdogs pull off the unimaginable.”
"Review" by , “Those who enjoy reading about Olympic history or amateur or collegiate sports will savor Brown's superb book.”
"Synopsis" by , The New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany.

Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times — the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington's eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man's personal quest.

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