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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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  •  
    jeffrey s. 08-21-15
    jeffrey s. 08-21-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Overview"

    The narrator pronounced a couple words incorrectly (chiffon was one) which was distracting. I also wish each character had a distinct voice, instead of the narrator using his own voice for all the characters, both male and female. The story was wonderful. Warmed my heart and made me proud to be an American from the Great NW.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 08-19-15
    Elizabeth 08-19-15 Member Since 2013
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    13
    6
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    Story
    "Excels through each stroke"

    One of the best stories you've never heard of. Each step, each race, gets more and more intense. And the narration was wonderful! Puts you right in the crowd and in the boat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    keith 08-19-15
    keith 08-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Great, once you get going"

    Took a while to get moving, but after about a hour or two I couldn't stop listening. Also wasn't in love with Ed Herman at first, but later found his voice to be a perfect match for the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    terry grish Vienna, Va United States 08-19-15
    terry grish Vienna, Va United States 08-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Great story"

    Story of Washington U Crew and the road to 1936 Olympics. Good character development strong story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Lannan 08-19-15
    Sean Lannan 08-19-15 Member Since 2008
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    7
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    "A Story of Athletic Challenge That Applies to Life"

    This is memorable storytelling of personal sacrifice, persistence, humility and team building in the pursuit of greater objective. Former rowers will easily identify with the story and so will others who have the experience of working on a close team on any endeavor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diggie777 08-19-15
    Diggie777 08-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Loved it"

    the narrator was great. very well written. a little long in the detail but worth it. I liked how the author mixed the storyline with the politics at the time. Very nostalgic and patriotic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 08-18-15
    David 08-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing book!"

    So well written.

    Loved the imagery.

    I grew up in the Seattle area so hearing experiences from 80 years ago was amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren 08-18-15
    Lauren 08-18-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    11
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    "Gripping true adventure story"

    I highly recommend this captivating book. I could not put it down from the moment it began. The true story of the members of the Olympic crew team and their lives leading up to the monumental race comes alive, thanks to the excellent, seamless narration. The historical context provides a real window into what life was like during the depression, and by the time the book ended, I felt like I really knew the main characters and understood what they had gone through on their quest to win gold.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim P 08-18-15
    Jim P 08-18-15

    Jim

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    "Simply outstanding"

    Absolutely superb. Didn't realize the status of rowing, so this was educational. However, the human side is a story for the ages - a time unknown on a personal level in the 21st century but admired by history. A time when everything was earned and little was given. A history that should be cherished and taken to heart again - if you want it, earn it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffery Seattle 08-17-15
    Jeffery Seattle 08-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great local history for the NW"

    The story is phenomenal. As a native Seattleite I found it too bad that Mr. Herrmann and the producers couldn't figure out the proper pronunciation of the areas around Seattle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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