The Amateurs: The Story Of Four Young Men And Their Quest For An Olympic Gold Medal by David HalberstamThe Amateurs: The Story Of Four Young Men And Their Quest For An Olympic Gold Medal by David Halberstam

The Amateurs: The Story Of Four Young Men And Their Quest For An Olympic Gold Medal

byDavid Halberstam

Paperback | May 7, 1996

Pricing and Purchase Info

$14.48 online 
$23.00 list price save 37%
Earn 72 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


"Astonishing . . . Moving . . . One of the best books ever written about a sport."
*Walter Clemons

*David Guy
Chicago Tribune
In The Amateurs, David Halberstam once again displays the unique brand of reportage, both penetrating and supple, that distinguished his bestselling The Best and the Brightest and October 1964. This time he has taken for his subject the dramatic and special world of amateur rowing. While other athletes are earning fortunes in salaries and-or endorsements, the oarsmen gain fame only with each other and strive without any hope of financial reward.
What drives these men to endure a physical pain known to no other sport? Who are they? Where do they come from? How do they regard themselves and their competitors? What have they sacrificed, and what inner demons have they appeased? In answering these questions, David Halberstam takes as his focus the 1984 single sculls trials in Princeton. The man who wins will gain the right to represent the United States in the 84 Olympiad; the losers will then have to struggle further to gain a place in the two- or four-man boats. And even if they succeed, they will have to live with the bitter knowledge that they were not the best, only close to it.
Informative and compelling, The Amateurs combines the vividness of superb sportswriting with the narrative skills of a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent.
*Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
The New York Times
"[A] MASTERFUL JOB . . . Maintains the suspense to the very last stroke . . . Halberstam makes us care about the four men, their disappointments and the brutal testing of their friendships."
*Dan Levin
Sports Illustrated
David Halberstam was a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the author of numerous books, including The Best and the Brightest, The Powers That Be, The Reckoning, Summer of '49, Playing for Keeps, and War in a Time of Peace. He died in April 2007.
Title:The Amateurs: The Story Of Four Young Men And Their Quest For An Olympic Gold MedalFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.98 × 5.17 × 0.49 inPublished:May 7, 1996Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0449910032

ISBN - 13:9780449910030

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Olympic dreams An average story told by one of the best authors of our time, David Halberstam. Nobody really cares about a bunch of rowers and the Olympics, but Halberstam is a writing genius and his ability to make you feel their pain when they lose, feel their joy when they win is inspiring. A most ordinary tale becomes a most fantastic read.
Date published: 2006-12-30

From Our Editors

This superb narrative takes readers into the world of Olympic amateurs who row along the cold and still waters in pursuit of a gold medal. The Amateurs from best-selling author David Halberstam begins with the Princeton sculls rowing competition where the winners will be propelled on to the world stage to represent the Unites States in the 1984 Olympics. The pressure, the dream and the thrill of victory are just a few of the elements that keep rowers in their sleek crafts day in and day out. Halberstam reveals the true nature of the spirit and the drive that these athletes must endure and obtain, to make it to the podium. The book combines the vividness of the sport and the warmth and endurance of the competitors and delivers a fresh and engaging perspective of the sport and the will of the athletes.