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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 2014
The #1 New York Times¨Cbestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany
For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times¡ªthe 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.
Daniel James Brown¡¯s The Boys in the Boat is the kind of nonfiction book that reads like a novel. Centered around the life of Joe Rantz¡ªa farmboy from the Pacific Northwest who was literally abandoned as a child¡ªand set during the Great Depression, The Boys in the Boat is a character-driven story with a natural crescendo that will have you racing to the finish. In 1936, the University of Washington¡¯s eight-oar crew team raced its way to the Berlin Olympics for an opportunity to challenge the greatest in the world. How this team, largely composed of rowers from ¡°foggy coastal villages, damp dairy farms, and smoky lumber towns all over the state,¡± managed to work together and sacrifice toward their goal of defeating Hitler¡¯s feared racers is half the story. The other half is equally fascinating, as Brown seamlessly weaves in the story of crew itself. This is fast-paced and emotional nonfiction about determination, bonds built by teamwork, and what it takes to achieve glory. ¡ªChris Schluep
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* If Jesse Owens is rightfully the most famous American athlete of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, repudiating Adolf Hitler¡¯s notion of white supremacy by winning gold in four events, the gold-medal-winning effort by the eight-man rowing team from the University of Washington remains a remarkable story. It encompasses the convergence of transcendent British boatmaker George Pocock; the quiet yet deadly effective UW men¡¯s varsity coach, Al Ulbrickson; and an unlikely gaggle of young rowers who would shine as freshmen, then grow up together, a rough-and-tumble bunch, writes Brown, not very worldly, but earnest and used to hard work. Brown (Under a Flaming Sky, 2006) takes enough time to profile the principals in this story while using the 1936 games and Hitler¡¯s heavy financial and political investment in them to pull the narrative along. In doing so, he offers a vivid picture of the socioeconomic landscape of 1930s America (brutal), the relentlessly demanding effort required of an Olympic-level rower, the exquisite brainpower and materials that go into making a first-rate boat, and the wiles of a coach who somehow found a way to, first, beat archrival University of California, then conquer a national field of qualifiers, and finally, defeat the best rowing teams in the world. A book that informs as it inspires. --Alan Moores --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#89 in Books
#1 in Books > Sports & Outdoors > Miscellaneous > History of Sports
#1 in Books > Sports & Outdoors > Outdoor Recreation > Boating
#1 in Books > Sports & Outdoors > Water Sports
Daniel James Brown grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended Diablo Valley College, the University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA. He taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before becoming a technical writer and editor. He now writes narrative nonfiction books full time. His primary interest as a writer is in bringing compelling historical events to life vividly and accurately.
He and his wife live in the country outside of Seattle, Washington, with an assortment of cats, dogs, chickens, and honeybees. When he isn't writing, he is likely to be birding, gardening, fly fishing, reading American history, or chasing bears away from the beehives.
Amazon Author Rank
#6 in Books > History
#19 in Kindle eBooks > History