The Boys In The Boat: Nine Americans And Their Epic Quest For Gold At The 1936 Berlin Olympics

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The Boys In The Boat: Nine Americans And Their Epic Quest For Gold At The 1936 Berlin Olympics

by Daniel James Brown

Viking Adult | June 4, 2013 | Hardcover

The Boys In The Boat: Nine Americans And Their Epic Quest For Gold At The 1936 Berlin Olympics is rated 5 out of 5 by 3.
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.


Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 416 pages, 9.39 × 6.32 × 1.31 in

Published: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Viking Adult

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 067002581X

ISBN - 13: 9780670025817

Found in: Sports and Fitness
It seems when we see an athlete in the news today, the story is as often about scandal or big salaries as it is for their achievement on the field, court, or water. Cynicism and the business of athletes have taken centre stage leaving the nobility of sport as a bit player. Enter The Boys in the Boat - a magnificent book that stands up and unabashedly says “Magic is possible, and heroes are real.” Writing in the spirit of Chariots of Fire, and wearing his heart firmly on his sleeve, Daniel James Brown has given us a magnificent chronicle of the nine boys from Seattle who captivated the world as they rowed to gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The struggle of the team is embodied in the journey of the boy in the seventh seat, Joe Rantz, a profoundly decent and indefatigable young man whose story will remind you why he and millions like him are still called the Greatest Generation. While Joe’s journey is its core, The Boys in the Boat has a much bigger tale to tell. It’s a fascinating history of rowing, a sport that was once second only to baseball in the United States. It’s the story of the dark clouds gathering over Europe in the 1930s – how Hitler, Goebbels, and Leni Riefenstahl conspired to fool a world that was all too willing to be fooled. And with beautiful, inspiring words, it’s about the poetry that comes from a team pulling together as one – the camaraderie and complete trust we might experience once in a lifetime. The Boys in the Boat is more than a tribute to the heart of sport – it is a riveting portrait of character, endurance, and optimism. I guarantee it will stir your soul.

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new look at rowing. This book was given to me by my wife.  I had told her that "Heather's Pick"s were a guaranteed good read and she bought it on this advice.  She knows I love sports books and this one seemed special.  I have never viewed rowing as something especially hard or requiring a special kind of endurance.   I must now reconsider my opinions after reading this book.  There seems to be nothing that demands more determination, guts and strength than rowing at this level.  My only regret is that the coming Olympics are Winter and not Spring.  I would be watching the 8-man rowing with a new appreciation of the sport.  A must read.
Date published: 2014-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great read! It seems when we see an athlete in the news today, the story is as often about scandal or big salaries as it is for their achievement on the field, court, or water. Cynicism and the business of athletes have taken centre stage leaving the nobility of sport as a bit player. Enter The Boys in the Boat - a magnificent book that stands up and unabashedly says “Magic is possible, and heroes are real.” Writing in the spirit of Chariots of Fire, and wearing his heart firmly on his sleeve, Daniel James Brown has given us a magnificent chronicle of the nine boys from Seattle who captivated the world as they rowed to gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The struggle of the team is embodied in the journey of the boy in the seventh seat, Joe Rantz, a profoundly decent and indefatigable young man whose story will remind you why he and millions like him are still called the Greatest Generation. While Joe’s journey is its core, The Boys in the Boat has a much bigger tale to tell. It’s a fascinating history of rowing, a sport that was once second only to baseball in the United States. It’s the story of the dark clouds gathering over Europe in the 1930s – how Hitler, Goebbels, and Leni Riefenstahl conspired to fool a world that was all too willing to be fooled. And with beautiful, inspiring words, it’s about the poetry that comes from a team pulling together as one – the camaraderie and complete trust we might experience once in a lifetime. The Boys in the Boat is more than a tribute to the heart of sport – it is a riveting portrait of character, endurance, and optimism. I guarantee it will stir your soul.
Date published: 2013-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The boys will forever row on Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a huge non-fiction fan. If given the choice, I would almost always go for a fiction read. I passed up on the first opportunity to read "The Boys in the Boat," but after the fantastic word of mouth this book had gotten between the first and second time it was presented to me, I felt I had to push through my lack of enthusiasm and give this a try. And, boy, am I glad I did. "The Boys in the Boat," about 9 American boys who defied all odds in their quest for Olympic gold at Hitler's Olympics in 1936, is one of the best-written non-fiction book, merging sports, history, biography, and science together, that I've ever read. Let me reiterate, I don't read many non-fiction works, so when I gush over one, I can assure you how in awe I am with it. I like it when non-fiction reads like fiction, but can't take it seriously when it's written too much in a fiction narrative. For example, Katherine Boo's "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" had such an engrossing and important story to tell, but the use of too much dialogue took away gravitas from the message since it gave the impression that liberties were taken when recording the events that occurred. In "The Boys in the Boat," minimal dialogue, and layers of in-depth research and references from interviews and journals, to radio broadcasts and newspaper outlets, gave the perfect balance in a non-fictional narrative with a fictional approach. Daniel James Brown also masterfully juggles the multifaceted story – the mechanics and chemistry in crew racing, the trade and art of boat building, the minds and hearts of the people powering the sport, the good and mostly bad times blanketing domestic soil, and the evil that grows and lurks on foreign grounds. As such, there is something fascinating for the reader at every turn of a page and at every line the eyes read. Furthermore, the strong sense of commitment, competition, candour, and camaraderie is evoked from the words and material, such that my cutis anserina were on active duty. Even though they have passed on, this crew has made their mark on the sports and the Olympic Games, and left a lasting legacy on what it means to be a passionate man and a spirited athlete. "The Boys in the Boat" deserves your attention, and it will definitely leave you goosebumps aplenty, tears flowing, and hearts full.
Date published: 2013-03-18

– More About This Product –

The Boys In The Boat: Nine Americans And Their Epic Quest For Gold At The 1936 Berlin Olympics

by Daniel James Brown

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 416 pages, 9.39 × 6.32 × 1.31 in

Published: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Viking Adult

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 067002581X

ISBN - 13: 9780670025817

About the Book

For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit" and "Unbroken" comes the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics. Brown draws on the team's own journals, photos, and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream.

Read from the Book

Prologue In a sport like this—hard work, not much glory, but still popular in every century—well, there must be some beauty which ordinary men can’t see, but extraordinary men do. — George Yeoman Pocock This book was born on a cold, drizzly, late spring day when I clambered over the split-rail cedar fence that surrounds my pasture and made my way through wet woods to the modest frame house where Joe Rantz lay dying. I knew only two things about Joe when I knocked on his daughter Judy’s door that day. I knew that in his midseventies he had single-handedly hauled a number of cedar logs down a mountain, then hand-split the rails and cut the posts and installed all 2,224 linear feet of the pasture fence I had just climbed over—a task so herculean I shake my head in wonderment whenever I think about it. And I knew that he had been one of nine young men from the state of Washington—farm boys, fishermen, and loggers—who shocked both the rowing world and Adolf Hitler by winning the gold medal in eight-oared rowing at the 1936 Olympics. When Judy opened the door and ushered me into her cozy living room, Joe was stretched out in a recliner with his feet up, all six foot three of him. He was wearing a gray sweat suit and bright red, down-filled booties. He had a thin white beard. His skin was sallow, his eyes puffy—results of the congestive heart failure from which he was dying. An oxygen tank stood nearby. A fire was popping and hissing in
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From the Publisher

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, The Indifferent Stars Above and Under a Flaming Sky, which was a finalist for a Barnes & Noble Discover Award. He has taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University. He lives outside Seattle.

Editorial Reviews

"A triumph of great writing matched with a magnificent story. Daniel James Brown strokes the keyboard like a master oarsman, blending power and grace to propel readers toward a heart-pounding finish. In Joe Rantz and his crewmates, Brown has rediscovered true American heroes who remind us that pulling together is the surest path to glory.” - Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time “In 1936 nine working-class American boys burst from their small towns into the international limelight, unexpectedly wiping the smile off Adolph Hitler’s face by beating his vaunted German team to capture the Olympic gold medal.  Daniel James Brown has written a robust, emotional snapshot of an era, a book you will recommend to your best friends. --James Bradley, author of Flags of our Fathers and Flyboys “I really can''t rave enough about this book.  Daniel James Brown has not only captured the hearts and souls of the University of Washington rowers who raced in the 1936 Olympics, he has conjured up an era of history.  Brown''s evocation of Seattle in the Depression years is dazzling, his limning of character, especially the hardscrabble hero Joe Rantz, is novelistic, his narration of the boat races and the sinister-exalted atmosphere of Berlin in 1936 is cinematic. I read the last fifty pages with white knuckles, and the last twenty-five with tears in my eyes. History, sports, human interest, weather, suspense, design, physics, oppr
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