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

Daniel James Brown
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.


Reviewed: 2018-04-15

I was tempted to give this book five stars, but I didn't becuase, although it is a great story and well written, it isn't a spectacular story. That said, there were a lot of things that I liked about it, including the coming of age of the boys, the stoic determined coach, the drama of the pre-WWII stage in Berlin, and the story of George Pocock--the maker of the fast racing shells the University of Washington used. Overall, it's exactly the kind of biography that I like to read and hope to read more of.

Reviewed: 2018-03-30

Amazing story, absolutely incredible. You don't have to be American or have a strong sense of patriotism to enjoy it. 5/5

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