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The Boys in the Boat

Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics
Brown, Daniel (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Boys in the Boat

Item Details

Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washingtons 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.
Authors: Brown, Daniel, 1951-
Title: The boys in the boat
nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Olympics
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, [2013]
Characteristics: 404 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washingtons 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.
Awards & Distinctions: ["
Bookmarks Best Books 2013", "
Amazon Best Books 2013", "
Booklist Editor's Choice 2013"]
ISBN: 067002581X
Branch Call Number: 797.123 BROWN
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Report This Apr 12, 2014
  • MargoBarron rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wow! One of the best books I have ever read. I knew nothing about the sport of rowing before reading this book and have definitely gained an appreciation for what the sport entails. In addition, all the history and politics of the 1930s included in this book makes it an amazing and interesting read. Most of all it was just heartwarming to learn about the tenacity and character of all those associated with the 1936 Husky Clipper. The Epilogue was wonderful in summing up the boys' lives after the Olympics. I would recommend this book to everyone--it is a wonderful story and so well written.

Report This Apr 07, 2014
  • Markus_10 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Not a rower? Not a sports fan? Don't worry. The Boys in the Boat transcends the sports literature genre. There will certainly be an aspect of this book which will pull you in. There are not enough superlatives to describe how I feel about The Boys in the Boat. Perhaps the least important part of this book is the race described in its subtitle. This book is a personal history of the men who formed the crew, particularly the heartbreaking story of the childhood and adolescence of Joe Rantz. However, Brown gives insights into the lives of Joe's family and fiancee, the other members of his crew, the coaches, some of the competing rowers, the German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda. It is a story of living through the Great Depression in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and its initial reluctance to hosting the 1936 Olympic Games. It is an ode to the poetry and grace of rowing and of people working toward a common, pure goal: the pursuit of that elusive moment when everything works in perfect synchronization and one can almost touch the divine. That Mr. Brown is able to do this in 370 pages without once becoming long-winded or preachy is a rarely accomplished feat. The author seems to have an instinctive grasp of exactly how much detail is enough. The prose is densely packed yet accessible. It dots every i and crosses every t. At times in its poetry and feeling it almost touches the same sense of the divine the rowers seek. It is that rarest of thing in recent American writing, quietly proud of its characters without indulging in jingoistic rah-rah U-S-A! U-S-A! cheerleading. The tone is as modest and unassuming as its protagonists. I don't often cry (not that there's anything wrong with crying, far from it) but I found myself tearing up at the end of this book. The last few pages are genuinely moving in their power, perception, beauty and sensitivity. Do yourself a huge favour and pick up this absolutely riveting read.

Loved. Great feel for Seattle at time of depression.

For many Americans, Jessie Owens winning four gold medals was the story of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. However, Daniel Brown's riveting account of a group of working-class rowers' quest for gold during those games is about as inspiring as Olympic stories get. It's a story about the Depression and the grit of a group of rowers from the University of Washington, who overcame incredible odds to capture gold. A nonfiction book that feels much like a novel, readers will savor this page-turner to its rollicking finish. Fans of Lauren Hillenbrand's Unbroken will certainly enjoy this book.

Report This Jan 21, 2014
  • Lauren31 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What a book! As a recent convert to the sport of rowing, I might be more inclined to love this book than others, but really, The Boys in the Boat is a beautiful read. The descriptions of the races had me on the edge of my seat, following the ups and downs of the crew, their struggles on the water and in life had me in tears at time. Brown captures the pain and magic of rowing so well, and the story of the Washington crew is so compelling as it is. Highly recommend for rowers and non-rowers alike.

Report This Jan 20, 2014
  • Minkelina rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This would have been a far better book at half the length. The story of this crew and their incredible success is a wonderful one, but not done justice by the author.

Report This Jan 18, 2014
  • cayuga60 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book should be on everyone's "to read" list. I have long followed crew because my brother rowed, but never knew much about how the required teamwork can be carefully crafted to perfection and how deeply the experience of "the boat" can affect the lives of the crew. The descriptions of the races are compelling reading. At the heart of the author's excellent writing, however, are his deep insights into life in the 30s with all its hardships and challenges, personal, national, and international. This is a true story more exciting than any novel!

Report This Jan 11, 2014
  • george0819 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This should be "The Book of The Year" for 2013. I'm an avid reader but can't remember getting goose bumps while reading a book, where the result is clearly outlined on the cover. If you can do that, you're good. The author does a brilliant job not only recreating the era but better yet, if possible, describing the humble beginnings and depth of character of the protagonists to the point you actually believe you're there and I wasn't quite born, yet. Obviously, Jesse Owens dominated the world theater at the '36 Olympics but the story of these great athletes is well worth telling and better worth reading ! My highest recommendation !

Report This Dec 29, 2013
  • poodlegirl rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An absolutely wonderful story about Seattle, UW, the buildup of WWII in Germany, and the developing crew for UW. I thought the overriding point of this book was the development, through the sport, of this wonderful group of young men. They came from many challenging backgrounds to develop into extremely successful adults (and I don't mean financially successful). I highly recommend this book).

Report This Dec 14, 2013
  • pokano rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Superb book about the UW Husky varsity 8 + cox that won Olympic Gold in front of Hitler in 1936. More than a sports story (although the descriptions of crucial races are so vivid you're on the edge of your seat even though you know what the outcome is), the author traces the life of one of the crew members, who grew up during the Depression, and offers insight into Husky and crew legends George Pocock and Al Ulbrickson. A must read for Seattlites and anyone who loves Husky sports or crew.

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Report This Nov 26, 2013
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Book Trailer for "The Boys in the Boat"

Viking Books' trailer for "The Boys in the Boat."

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