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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics | [Daniel James Brown]

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2013 Daniel James Brown (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Ryan 10-25-14
    Ryan 10-25-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    27
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    Story
    "Exceptional story and impeccable narration"
    What did you love best about The Boys in the Boat?

    This was a compelling story that never dragged; brought to live by the precise narration of Edward Herrmann


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boys in the Boat?

    Many moments, but in particular, the intense Olympic race in Germany.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    The narrator delivered the perfect blend of emotion and emphasis to bring the story to life. I was on the edge of my seat during the race sequences.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Blass 10-15-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Pronunciation errors"
    Any additional comments?

    Edward Hermann manages to mispronounce nearly every geographic feature in the Pacific Northwest over the course of this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith 10-03-14
    Keith 10-03-14 Member Since 2012
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    9
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    "Very uplifting"

    What a great surprise. Got it on a lark. Fantastic story. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Weston, CT, United States 09-30-14
    Thomas Weston, CT, United States 09-30-14 Member Since 2003
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    "A very, very enjoyable listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this book to a friend and have already touted it to 5-8 of my friends.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boys in the Boat?

    Clearly the story is meant to climax at the '36 Olympics race, and the suspense builds to that very spot. The fact that you already know the outcome does not get in the way of the drama.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    I thought he was -- at once -- authoritative in the reading, but also able to capture a sense of the times and life in the '30's.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I found the first and second abandonments of Joe Rantz by his family to be particularly moving.


    Any additional comments?

    A book centerered on a specific sport that is about so much more in life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 09-26-14
    Sharon 09-26-14 Member Since 2012
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    1
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    "Very Inspiring"
    What did you love best about The Boys in the Boat?

    This book was wonderful. I found it very inspiring, well written and read. Loved it!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clyde OROVILLE, WA, United States 09-22-14
    Clyde OROVILLE, WA, United States 09-22-14 Member Since 2011
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    2
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    "Who knew rowing could be so exciting."

    My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this story as it dealt not only with a specific crew at a specific university but gave us a glimpse into the life in that era both in the US and in Germany. Even though we knew who was going to win, it held our attention as though we did not. Our only complaint is, as it was with others, that the reader badly mispronounced many of the place names. Being from the PNW, more than once we had to figure out what place he was referring to. With Washington state approaching 7 million and the majority of those in the Puget Sound basin, you would think they could have found talent that grew up with these names.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    avid nonfiction reader 09-16-14 Member Since 2009
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    "wonderful story"
    Where does The Boys in the Boat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best books I've heard on audible! It's a wonderful true story!


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    He has a great voice for historical story telling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brittain Grasonville, MD, United States 09-14-14
    Brittain Grasonville, MD, United States 09-14-14 Member Since 2010
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    "As good as described"
    If you could sum up The Boys in the Boat in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent Characters, wonderful historical insight.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The time when the main character was abandoned by his father in favor of his new wife.


    Any additional comments?

    The book had been recommended to me by several good friends; however, I was not interested in a book about "rowing". The book was so much more. The characters and the historical insight made the book one of my best "reads" this year. I was sad to reach the final chapter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy 09-12-14
    Kathy 09-12-14 Member Since 2011
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    6
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    "Great Story"
    Would you listen to The Boys in the Boat again? Why?

    I listened while I exercised and drove. Couldn't wait to get back to it. Lots of driveway time finishing chapters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Je 09-12-14
    Je 09-12-14 Member Since 2012
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    20
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    "BEST book EVER"
    Would you listen to The Boys in the Boat again? Why?

    Yes, there is so much history and knowledge in this book that I will need to read to catch things I did not catch the first time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This author is a great story teller! I was not expecting a book that covered more than just preparing for the Olympics.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    The sound of his voice and phrasing of words. I could listen to him all day.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Each race was inspiring and I love how Joe never let his rotten life bring him down.


    Any additional comments?

    Such a great book! Not only is the author a great story teller but I simply loved how the book covered EVERYTHING.... it told the story of some of the boys from birth, covered world history, political history, and explained each race in such detail it is as if we are listening to it on the radio ourselves! I watched the Olympic race on YouTube and I had no idea of the drama going on in the boat. I really can't express how encompassing this book is and how great each story line told is. Please read it, it is worth all the hard work put into it!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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