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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

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6354215,256 (4.28)50
  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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Do you hate Hitler?
Do you like sports?

Then Boys in the Boat is a book to add to your "To Read" list.

In the middle of the Great Depression, Joe Rantz is a farmboy from the Pacific Northwest who was literally abandoned as a child and rarely had two pennies to rub together. He scrapes together the money to attend the University of Washington during the Great Depression. At school he joins a pack of strong, young men looking to make it onto the crew team.

It's not going to be a surprise, but Joe makes the team. That's just the first step. His crew needs to beat their rivals at Berkeley, then travel East to battle the rowing elites of the east coast. If his crew comes in first, then it's off to Berlin to battle the Nazi's crew for Olympic glory.

This is a tremendously enjoyable story, full heart, soul, and determination. ( )
  dougcornelius | Dec 17, 2014 |
Wonderfully written, compulsively readable story of the 9 young men who won the gold medal for crew at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. ( )
  rglossne | Dec 11, 2014 |
Wonderfully written, compulsively readable story of the 9 young men who won the gold medal for crew at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. ( )
  rglossne | Dec 11, 2014 |
Wonderfully written, compulsively readable story of the 9 young men who won the gold medal for crew at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. ( )
  rglossne | Dec 11, 2014 |
I just loved this wonderful true life story of the oarsmen of the University of Washington. Far removed from their East Coast elite competition, these sons of lumbermen, farmers and Depression era down-and-outers managed to overcome the odds to compete at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Through their own dedication and commitment to excellence, they overcame much diversity. My deepest respect comes for their coaches and mentors who typified the best of leaders and educators everywhere. A favorite quote:

"...Bolles sometimes spoke of life-transforming experiences. He held out the prospect of becoming part of something larger than themselves, of finding in themselves something they did not yet know they possessed, of growing from boyhood to manhood. At times he dropped his voice a bit and shifted his tone and cadence and talked of near mystical moments on the water – moments of pride, elation and deep affection for one’s fellow oarsmen, moments they would remember, cherish and recount to their grandchildren when they were old men. Moments, even, that would bring them nearer to God.

We all hope for -- and if lucky enough, recall for a lifetime -- these moments of transcendence. ( )
  michigantrumpet | Dec 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (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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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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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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