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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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    19,178
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    3,117
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    631
  • 2 Stars
    134
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    71

Performance

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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    2,661
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    466
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Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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    17,767
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 11-09-17

Excellent Book!

Wonderfully written, inspiring, sad, thrilling, and a story worth being told. The reader was simple, but good.

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Awe Inspiring

A wonderful story of overcoming adversity, meeting challenges, and selflessness. I would highly recommend this book.

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Wonderful

The story is magnificent. It’s not a topic I would have though I would have loved. But the story of the underdogs woven in to Hitler rise in Germany - so fascinating. Edward Herrmann did a magnificent job. Wonderful story. Wonderful performance.

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The story of us.

I’m many ways, Joe is an average kid. He had the same need for acceptance, and desire for belonging that all of us are born with. Like most of us, it takes him enduring struggles & self doubt to finally realize that he’s not alone in these feelings. While many of his experiences as a youth were exceptionally severe, he faced them with determination, commitment & whatever hope he could muster. That made all the difference. Never fearing hard work, pain or a good challenge, Joe loved to learn through it all. With that foundation, and uncommon mentoring & comradeship, he finally found himself in giving himself up.

The Boys in the Boat is full of excitement, drama & adventure against the backdrop of a struggling boy, in a broken family, living in a faltering nation amid an uncertain world. Mr. Brown brings each of these story lines alive beautifully, illustrating the impact of the larger on individuals, as well as the individual on the whole. So many life lessons amid beautiful language and vivid storytelling. Not the least of which, are the many quotes, wisdom & insights of George Pocock, one of the true heroes of this story.

In short, I loved this book & I’m sure my boys will quickly tire of references drawn from its pages.

Thank you Mr. Brown, for telling the world this story.

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Compiling story of dedication

An inspirational story of team work with historical figures. Join a team of boys as they journey an strive to compete for a chance at obtaining a gold medal in Berlin. The narrator gets you connected and brings light into this world of competition with clearity and compassion. Story contains historical figures and places as you join there travels to possible victory.

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Glorious

An inspirational story and an epic history lesson of the University of Washington rowing program.

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Superb!

Amazing true story of the 1936 Olympic rowing crew. Told with reverence and awe, but never lacking drama, this story transports you back to your own youth and makes you laugh, wonder, and cry. An incredible telling of what today seems like an impossible feat. Well worth a listen...or perhaps two.

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One of the best books ever

I can’t say enough good things. I got chills, tears eyed, happy, sad, frustrated, elated, and ultimately entertained beyond words. You will not be disappointed.

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Your in the boat with them!

You'll be nervous, excited, sad, exhausted, crying, and ecstatic right along with the boys in the boat.

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Fantastic motivational book

Gifted writer that can captivate you as if you are there at the race. Highly recommended.