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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)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,9351892,934 (4.33)1 / 275
  1. 41
    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. 01
    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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English (186)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (188)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
I loved how the story grew, strands gradually being added. This is the Whatcom Reads book this year and it's thrilling to be able to talk about this book everywhere - at church, in line at the post office, in gym class, with my father, with my son. Everyone has an angle on it. Here's my angle: "something about the deliberate application of strength, the careful coordination of mind and muscle, the sudden unfolding of mystery and beauty." ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
I loved this book. It is a study of human struggle, teamwork, the striving for perfection. As a former Olympic athlete, I can understand what these boys went through to achieve a dream -- and that for some, the dream comes alive as they struggle, and then the struggle only becomes more intense. Also, set against the backdrop of the Berlin Olympics, the struggle is just that much more poignant. My grandfather who was the official doctor of the Hungarian team in 1936, left a wonderful book for me with lots of pictures of those Olympics. This book provides another perspective for me. Well worth the read. ( )
  geza.tatrallyay | Apr 10, 2019 |
There is nothing about this book that would normally catch my attention in the least, but after seeing it on many lists from award finalists to must reads and the basis of an episode of PBS’s American Experience , I figured there must be something to it. Beautifully written story of struggle and success over the backdrop of the Great Depression and the looming World War. ( )
  pdill8 | Mar 12, 2019 |
Great story dryly written

It was a great story but the writing was very dry and made it hard to get through at some points. ( )
  nbrown04 | Mar 6, 2019 |
Troubling. Compelling. Beautiful. This book sent my emotions out to places where other books seldom take them. ( )
  dypaloh | Jan 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (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)
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel James Brownprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pocock, George YeomanContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrmann, EdwardReadersecondary authorsome 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.
Quotations
Competitive rowing is an undertaking of extraordinary beauty preceded by brutal punishment.
One of the first admonitions of a good rowing coach, after the fundamentals are over, is “pull your own weight,” and the young oarsman does just that when he finds out that the boat goes better when he does. There is certainly a social implication here. -George Yeoman Pocock
There is a thing that sometimes happens in rowing that is hard to achieve and hard to define. Many crews, even winning crews, never really find it. Others find it but can’t sustain it. It’s called “swing.” It only happens when all eight oarsmen are rowing in such perfect unison that no single action by any one is out of synch with those of all the others. . . . Rowing then becomes a kind of perfect language. Poetry, that’s what a good swing feels like.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine with the Young Readers Adaptation.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

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.
Haiku summary

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)

This 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. It traces the story of the team that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder, and a homeless teen rower.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

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