The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany, the inspiration for the PBS documentary The Boys of '36, broadcast to coincide with the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 80th anniversary of the boys' gold medal race.
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
I plan to listen to the book at least several more times in the coming months. The story weaves together the elements of the Great Depression, Nazism on the rise, the 1936 Berlin Games, the science and ART of rowing, etc. The real deal closer for me is the Edward Hermann narration. No one is better than Edward Hermann and this is the perfect book for him.
George Pocock - a fascinating man that understood men, craftsmanship, and the art of rowing.
No. But I cannot believe it can get any better than this.
The Boys in the Boat: A Story of Unbroken Spirit and the 1936 Olympics
As good as it gets on Audible.
Though I appreciate Mr. Herrmann's voice and style, he managed to mispronounce 90 percent of the words specific to the NorthWest. It pretty much ruined it for me. Went back to reading the book. I have to give credit for his correct pronunciation of the town of Sequim, but pretty much everything else was jarringly wrong.
English major. Love to read
This is such a treat to read. Yes, I live in the northwest so I am already greeting the story with open arms, but it wouldn't matter, truly. Daniel Brown knows how to tell a story which is the essential component for me to veer into the non-fiction realm. He takes a compelling story, humanizes it by closely following one of the participants and creates a momentum that is very hard to resist. I found myself wanting to stop people on the Seattle streets to suggest they read the book. That's a pretty good measure.
Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
There are many descriptions of this non-fiction read, however, what I found most interesting was that it gave a great deal of history about Washington, Oregon and has a sprinkle of Long Beach thrown in during the depression. It is very informative about what this group of men, their families, and their cities went through during that time. It also included history surrounding Germany's rise to power and how they hid what was actually going on during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
It is a book about rowing which sounds boring but it is actually interesting and exciting.
top-notch reader...one of the best...but too many local names pronounced incorrectly
a tear or two
I live in the area of WA where the main character lived so am familiar with local names. it would be easy for a narrator or director to call a local paper or radio station for correct pronounciations....the wrong ones distracted from the otherwise great story
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
Boys in the Boat (BITB) is a powerful and entertaining book that allows the reader/listener to forget their reading non-fiction. The story brings together a confluence of historical events that make for an intriguing story: the Great Depression, the sport of crewing at its height of popularity, Berlin's 1936 Olympics, and the impending start of WWII. Author, Daniel James Brown, writes with a certain sense of ease and realism that conjures up the spirit of the times.
As a reader, I gained a much greater understanding and respect the sport of crewing upon reading BITB. Brown does an outstanding of reviewing the history of crewing, the athletic efforts needed to be a part of a crew team, comradely needed to be a successful crew team, and the strategy needed to win races. Equally gripping was the explanations about how families survived day to day during the Great Depression. Brown also tells the personal stories of the University Washington crew members, which allows the reader a very personal interaction the subject matter. All of these elements are seamlessly woven together to identify the country's emerging character that would dominate the post WWII area and be termed by Tom Brokaw as the "greatest generation".
Brown's best work is spent detailing the propaganda efforts on the behalf of Hitler, Leni Riefenstahl, and German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, who attempted to use the spectacle of the 1936 Olympics to support their fantasies of racial superiority. Brown's research and spot-on storytelling brings the story to an exciting climax.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading/listening to BITB for the characters, story, and historical significance. Reportedly, the movie rights have been sold to Miramax, which Kenneth Branagh is scheduled to direct. In my rank order system of the 64 books I have over the last two year, BITB lands in the 12th position.
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
If you are reading this little review (lately added to the legions), you undoubtedly already know that this book is about the majestic quest of the U.S. rowing team for Olympic gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. What more really can I add to urge you to read this book of gold and glory that tells a story evocative of Greek mythology, the tale of these nine young men from the University of Washington, their origins, their Odyssey into a land of evil, and the epic of their endurance, resilience, teamwork and victory.
We can be grateful for writers like Mr. Brown, who so splendidly capture the "eternal landscape of the past" that embodies the "mighty hopes that make us men" [and women], to borrow words from Tennyson.
If you haven't read this, I cannot prevail upon you enough how you must.
As inspirational as it is sobering, "The Boys In The Boat" takes us from the doorstep of WWII to the Olympics of 1936 in Berlin. The story centers around Joe, who was a young child growing up during The Great Depression.
With incredible imagery and historic accuracy, Joe recalls the tragic events of his heartbreaking and homeless childhood, and reflects on the hunger and loneliness of that decade.
With a redemption that overpowers The Great Depression, Joe's determination takes him from devastation to greatness in this inspiring true story of a 9 man Crewing Team.
Thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring story! Beautifully written and produced with fascinating insights into the history of the era leading up to WWII!
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