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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read

This book is a beautifully written and inspirational story of personal and team triumph against the odds and a testament to the character and community building qualities of crew. I cannot recommend it more highly.

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Well done!

The Boys in the Boy draws every emotion out of the reader/listener. Learning the lives and adversities each of the boys, their families, and our country had and was facing at the time was worded so perfectly by Brown and translated vocally by Herrmann. A must read/listen.
5 Stars!!!

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  • S. Arce
  • Ojai, CA United States
  • 10-26-17

Engaging history

After many recommendations, I decided that I had missed out not reading this book before.
I was totally captivated by both the story and the background of the times and the personal struggles of the major character and others. Although not familiar with the intricacies of rowing, I learned a lot and contemplated just what is necessary to be a rower. I was not bored in the least. Perhaps it might have been different if I was reading the book rather than listening, but the narrator engaged me totally from the beginning. This was an inspiring look into a huge American victory.

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Beautiful writing that tells a beautiful story.

This book has become one of my favorite books. I love the writing and the performance of the story as well.

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  • DBD
  • California
  • 10-25-17

Uplifting!

Took me a while to get into this one, but I adore the narrator Edward Herman (He does stories such as this such justice with his perfectly intoned storytelling!) and after probably one or two chapters I was hooked. The story is so uplifting, and interesting to read about the tone of the day in the 30's and 40's as Hitler executed his propaganda. That part is particularly chilling. But the Boys will steal your heart and I was rooting for them all the way through!

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  • Israel
  • Harrisburg, NC United States
  • 10-25-17

Great inspiration on the true meaning of teamwork!

We often hear about teamwork. Some of us have been to team building events. Very few people have had experiences similar to the young men in The Boys in the Boat. When a group of people are put in a difficult situation and they know the only way to make it through is by trusting your team. That is when a great team accomplishes incredible feats. I highly recommend this book.

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About more than teamwork. -Synergy -

Synergy: where one plus one equals three or four instead of just two. this is the concept that this book relays.

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Wonderful story

This book is absolutely fantastic. I read it first then watched the documentary then listened to the audible. My only complaint is that the reader totally missed on the pronunciations of many of the area names. It was really bad and needs to be corrected.

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  • R
  • 10-21-17

Should be on your Must-Read list

This is an incredible story, beautifully written, and expertly performed. The story is not just about 9 men in boat, it's about life, then and now, with a message for everyone. This is a must-read for everyone, and if you've ever pulled out your heart on an oar....it's pure scripture.

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Awesome

Totally awesome just couldn't quit. I love the teamwork and loyalty and perseverance. inspiring invigorating.