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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and…

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the… (2013)

by Daniel James Brown, George Yeoman Pocock (Contributor)

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2,0871373,165 (4.31)1 / 207
Recently added byCatB, altonmann, private library, e-zReader, mo_smith, essjay1
  1. 31
    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (terran)
    terran: Both books deal with participants in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and with personal stories of individuals growing up in that time period. Both are incredible true stories that read like fiction.
  2. 00
    Bucking the Sun by Ivan Doig (terran)
    terran: Even though Doig's book is fiction, it deals with people struggling to make a living during the Great Depression. Both books deal with the construction of massive public works that employed thousands. (Hoover Dam and Fort Peck Dam)

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Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
This is a great story, and fascinating account of not only the preparation and race in 1936, but the years of the Great Depression and the hardship leading up to the race. I enjoyed the historical insights and the author writes the actual races very well, but such a long book. Rowing fanatics will love the minute details, however the rest of us would have appreciated a bit of a tighter edit. Overall a good book, and obviously researched in depth. Learning about Joe's life and how he overcame every hurdle was a definite highlight. ( )
  essjay1 | Jan 11, 2017 |
What an amazing story! I wasn’t certain I’d enjoy this book, not being a fan of sports writing. But this book is so much more.

It’s the story of the 1936 US Olympic crew team – all members of the crew team at University of Washington. The author focuses the book on Joe Rantz, a young man who – as a boy – had been abandoned by his father, thrown out of the house, told to fend for himself. That he found the wherewithal to even attend college was amazing. And he got no help along the way.

Although I’ve watched some rowing events on the televised Olympics, I’ve never known much about the sport. One piece of information is telling: as far as the physiological effects of rowing 2,000 meters are equivalent to playing back-to-back basketball games, all within six minutes. This is only for the strong and disciplined. And “the boys” later calculated that, in their collegiate rowing careers, each had taken roughly 469,000 strokes with his oar, the equivalent of 4,344 miles. But of those miles, only 28 had been in competition. That’s a lot of practice!

I thought this book was amazing – riveting, with enough details to make the main characters come alive for readers. This book is obviously a labor of love. I can highly recommend it to any reader of non-fiction. ( )
  NewsieQ | Jan 2, 2017 |
This was a fabulous read! I learned so much about a sport in which I would never have had more than a passing interest. I was fascinated by the author's research and took the time to read the end notes which I often bypass. I wanted to know how he discovered so much about the events, the sport, but mostly about the character's lives. I would highly recommend this book. Even though the reader knows the outcome from the beginning, the author leaves you breathless each time a race is described. ( )
  beebeereads | Dec 20, 2016 |
It's been quite a while since we did a non-fiction book. This was a good one. It's about teamwork, overcoming personal challenges, and showing up Adolf Hitler.
I especially liked the quotes from quotes from George Pocock. I would read it again, just for the inspiration and wisdom that he displays.

I also like that the winning team was from my alma mater, the University of Washington in Seattle. The place descriptions made me a little bit homesick. ( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
Listened to as Audiobook. Really good. Love the narrator. Probably would not have a wide appeal for teen readers, but a great book for young adults. ( )
  rdwhitenack | Dec 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
In “The Boys on the Boat,” Daniel James Brown tells the astonishing story of the UW’s 1936 eight-oar varsity crew and its rise from obscurity to fame, drawing on interviews with the surviving members of the team and their diaries, journals and photographs. A writer and former writing teacher at Stanford and San Diego, Brown lives outside of Seattle, where one of his elderly neighbors harbored a history Brown never imagined: he was Joe Rantz, one of the members of the iconic UW 1936 crew.
[Daniel James] Brown's book juxtaposes the coming together of the Washington crew team against the Nazis' preparations for the [1936 Berlin Olympic] Games, weaving together a history that feels both intimately personal and weighty in its larger historical implications. This book has already been bought for cinematic development, and it's easy to see why: When Brown, a Seattle-based nonfiction writer, describes a race, you feel the splash as the oars slice the water, the burning in the young men's muscles and the incredible drive that propelled these rowers to glory.
added by sgump | editSmithsonian, Chloë Schama (Jun 1, 2013)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel James Brownprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pocock, George YeomanContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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It's a great art, is rowing. It's the finest art there is. It's a symphony of motion. And when you're rowing well, why it's nearing perfection. And when you near perfection, you're touching the Divine. It touches the you of you. Which is your soul. - George Yeoman Pocock
(But I desire and I long every day to go home and to look upon the day of my return . . . for already I have suffered and labored at so many things on the waves.) - Homer
For Gordon Adam Chuck Day Don Hume George "Shorty" Hunt Jim "Stub" McMillin Bob Moch Roger Morris Joe Rantz John White Jr. and all those other bright, shining boys of the 1930s - our fathers, our grandfathers, our uncles, our old friends
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(Prologue) 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.
Monday, October 9, 1933, began as a gray day in Seattle.
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Brown quotes so extensively from George Pocock's diaries and letters, that I consider Pocock to be a contributor to the book. His wisdom helps to make this one memorable and deeply moving.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067002581X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:00 -0400)

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Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washingtons 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.

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