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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and…
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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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1,9291253,544 (4.32)1 / 181
  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 123 (next | show all)
This makes for a great book club book as it provides wonderful discussion opportunities. I liked how Brown included what was happening in Germany during the same time frame before the 1936 Olympics. ( )
  travelgal | Sep 24, 2016 |
Excellent telling of the story of the lives of these 9 oarsmen during their college and Olympic years. Moving. ( )
  bgknighton | Sep 10, 2016 |
Definitely worth the read. Gave a very good feel for what it is like to be on crew. Also gave a great feel what it was like growing up in the 1920-30s as part of the working poor. I was very interested in the whole feel for what the Berlin Olympics pre-WWII looked like to the participants.

At times the book dragged. There were too many minor characters and it was hard to remember each of these people. Also sometimes the actual race sequence seemed to drag on. ( )
  KamGeb | Sep 5, 2016 |
All the rave reviews are right --this was a compelling story about scrappy, working class boys who found the "swing" or flow of rowing together as an unbeatable, magical, fierce crew team to end up winning the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. The heart of the story is about Joe Rantz, one boy who's hardscrabble childhood of loss and abandonment fueled his complex psychology & desire to belong and succeed. The book also evokes the Depression era in amazing detail. ( )
  sylliu | Sep 2, 2016 |
One of the benefits of book discussion groups is that you read books that you generally wouldn't pick up. This is the case for me in reading The Boys in the Boat, a history book the University of Washington's rowing crew trials in winning the gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which became a new favorite. According to the blurb on the rear cover, "the emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects," who worked summers in the midst of the Great Depression to attend college. Although initially a loner, he found a purpose and a new family with his crew members and coaches.

If you read and enjoyed any of Erik Larson's book or Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, this book about loyalty, commitment, perseverance, and surrender to self should be read. I found myself cheering as I read about their racing wins, drawing their strength from some inner, indiscernible reservoir. ( )
  John_Warner | Aug 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 123 (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 editionsconfirmed
Pocock, George YeomanContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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
First words
(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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Book description
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)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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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