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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

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3822028,205 (4.38)25
  1. 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)
  2. 11
    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.

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This book will be very near the top of my list of best books. The people are interesting and the descriptions of the actual races seem to bring the event to life . ( )
  hazel1123 | Jul 20, 2014 |
I really loved this book. It was one of those which called me from the bedside table all through the day: come back, and read; come back and read! It is an accounting of the rowing crew of young men from the University of Washington who went to the Olympics in 1936 and against incredible disadvantages, some engineered by the Nazi men on the Olympic course, won the gold metal for an 8 man crew with a coxswain. This book appealed to me because it was filled with wonderful Seattle history, some of which made up stories I heard as a kid growing up in Seattle. And finally it pleased me because it is an excellent epic adventure of these young men and their coaches. A travel into unknown territory, overcoming huge challenges, meeting monsters and prevailing made up this story which really belongs with the best of epic hero tales. One more thing: the author knows his craft very well and built the tension and joy of watching races right into the pages, time after time, and even though the reader knows the end of the story it is a book which demands to be read to the end of the race. Five Stars from me, and a hearty recommendation to all readers who love history, and sport, and epic tales. ( )
  maggie1944 | Jun 17, 2014 |
I reviewed this book on Amazon. It really is an amazing story told very well.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R28VG4MCCWBCVZ/ref=cm_srch_res_rtr_alt_1I highly recommend it. ( )
  Jonri | Apr 30, 2014 |
The best book I've read in a long time. Like the crew described in the book, it starts out slowly and unassuming, but picks up the pace in a remarkable way. I read the last 120 pages this afternoon. Yes, it's about the University of Washington's 1935-1936 eight-man crew, but there's so much more to it than rowing. A group of working class boys from nowhere, try to get through the Depression, and follow a dour coach and a quietly poetic boat-builder on the waters of Lake Washington. They struggle quite a bit, each in their own ways, find a sort of mystical teamwork, "touch the divine" at one point, and maybe, just maybe, rattle Hitler at the Berlin Olympics. It's inspirational and wonderfully well-written. One reviewer called it "Chariots of Fire with oars." He's right. And it's expected to become a movie soon directed by Kenneth Branagh. But read it first. It's that good.
  benjfrank | Apr 19, 2014 |
Delightful,heart in the throat read i found inspiring, heartwarming, ( )
  Trudy1947miller | Mar 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (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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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:38 -0400)

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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