The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 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 o ...more
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I then realized I would not finish it before I had to leave and besides, I wanted to OWN it. So I got the Kindle version. Besides, my son was also reading it and we had two book marks, his and mine in the book. So ...more
An amazing balance of human interest, history and sport. Joe Rantz's story had my mothers heart wanting to give his ten year old self a big hug. His story and ...more
The fact that I had no interest in, and in fact dreaded reading this book club selection yet ending up loving it, is testament to how compelling this inspirational story was.
I have no interest in rowing. Actually, I have no interest in sports. Thankfully, this is not just a book about rowing and Olympic races. The author seamlessly weaves in details about Germany and Hitler's rise to power, the dust bowl, America in post-depression years and on the cusp of WWI ...more
Perhaps the author came to the project 10-15 years too late; only one of the main subjects survived to be interviewed by 2006, and that figure (Joe Rantz) makes the book worthwhile. Having grown up dirt poor, abandoned by his family, with a strong work ethic and a charming, loyal fiancée, ...more
The books power is in the storytelling. Starts right out on page 1
These were remarkable men -their sacrifice - committed dedication - had to scape for everything -their boat wasn't just handed to them... not all had cozy supportive families.
Joe Rantz's humanity - especially - makes you want to be a better human being yourself.
All these men were humble - with committed dedication -- they were a team. Proud to be American!
With the American depression -the dust bowl -the rise to Hitler - ...more
I always keep my eye out for interesting books to read. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest ...more
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is mainly told through the experiences of Joe Rantz, a young man who endures hardships that will amaze you. Many of ...more
Considering that I'm not at all a sports person, it seems odd to me that I would even be reading a book about the University of Washington crew team. I didn't know what to expect, but after reading the first chapter I was totally hooked. It only got better from there. The brief review is this: I loved this very well-written, carefully-researched and compelling book, and the bottom line is that it's one I can recommend very highly -- a book that absolutely should not be missed. You don't have to ...more
Although not particularly a fan of boat racing, I found this work of non-fiction and the many tidbits of historical data laced throughout the story informative and memorable...........a...more
Thanks to Jane for the recommendation. A good story beautifully narrated by Edward Herrmann, even if some place names are not pronounced correctly. That might bother a Washington native, but it got past me. Sadly, this talented narrator passed away December 31, 2014 at the age of 71.
I knew nothing of rowing, but I understood this book, and I even came to understand the strategy employed by Coach Ulbrickson and the team coxs ...more
In 1936 a group of nine boys from the University of Washington, Seattle made up the eight-oar crew team that won the 1936 Olympics showing up Hitler and his Nazi propaganda. This is the inspiring story of who they were and how they did it and the sport of crew. The main focus of the book is on o ...more
It's definitely an important part of the ...more
Even though you know the outcome it was like watching the race live. Your heart was racing while those boys are rowing down the lake towards that finish line.
Daniel James Brown did an amazing job at blending the stories of these boys and coaches (especially Joe Rantz)with the back ground of what Hitler and Goebbels were doing in Germany.
But the book isn't about the war. Unlike Louis Zamperini's story in Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption which breezed through the Olympics and focused on the war and its aftermath, ...more
Daniel James Brown tells the story of nine boys, all from underprivileged backgrounds, all working class boys from Washington State, working as lumberjacks, farmers and quarrymen to earn enough money to put themselves through school. True sons of the Great Depression. The focal character is Joe Rantz, whose ...more
The book did start slowly, but only to give you the necessary understanding of the central actor, Joe Rantz. His story and that of his Olympic medal winning crewmates (no spoiler here - the author reveals it early on) naturally comes to the fore through Brown's flowing prose. The muscle and mental tensi ...more
Standing there, watching them, it occurred to me that when Hitler watched Joe and the boys fight their way back from the rear of the field to sweep ahead of Italy and Germany seventy-five years ago, he saw, but did not recognize, heralds of his doom. He could not have known that one day hundreds of thousands of boys just like them, boys who shared their essential natures- decent and unassuming, not privileged or favored by anything in particular, just loyal, committed, and perseverant- would re...more
We meet Joe Rantz and the other boys in the boat at the beginning of their freshman year at the University of Washington, 1933. We follow them through each year of rowing, leading up to the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi dominated Germany. Along the way, we learn so many things. The author provides significant detail regarding the art of rowing and the construction of the racing boats. He touches on important aspects of the time period - the great Dust Bowl, the Depression, the building o ...more