The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Hardback

By (author) Daniel James Brown

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  • Publisher: Thorndike Press
  • Format: Hardback | 743 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 218mm x 38mm | 658g
  • Publication date: 17 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Detroit
  • ISBN 10: 1410459543
  • ISBN 13: 9781410459541
  • Edition: Large type / large print
  • Edition statement: large type edition
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,736,835

Product description

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."

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Author information

Daniel James Brown is the author of two previous nonfiction books, "Under a Flaming Sky" and "The Indifferent Stars Above." He has taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford. He lives near Seattle.

Review quote

"A triumph of great writing matched with a magnificent story. Daniel James Brown strokes the keyboard like a master oarsman, blending power and grace to propel readers toward a heart-pounding finish. In Joe Rantz and his crewmates, Brown has rediscovered true American heroes who remind us that pulling together is the surest path to glory." - Mitchell Zuckoff, author of "Lost in Shangri-La" and "Frozen in Time" "In 1936 nine working-class American boys burst from their small towns into the international limelight, unexpectedly wiping the smile off Adolph Hitler's face by beating his vaunted German team to capture the Olympic gold medal. Daniel James Brown has written a robust, emotional snapshot of an era, a book you will recommend to your best friends. --James Bradley, author of "Flags of our Fathers" and "Flyboys" "I really can't rave enough about this book. Daniel James Brown has not only captured the hearts and souls of the University of Washington rowers who raced in the 1936 Olympics, he has conjured up an era of history. Brown's evocation of Seattle in the Depression years is dazzling, his limning of character, especially the hardscrabble hero Joe Rantz, is novelistic, his narration of the boat races and the sinister-exalted atmosphere of Berlin in 1936 is cinematic. I read the last fifty pages with white knuckles, and the last twenty-five with tears in my eyes. History, sports, human interest, weather, suspense, design, physics, oppression and inspiration -- The Boats in the Boat has it all and Brown does full justice to his terrific material. This is "Chariots of Fire" with oars." --David Laskin, author of "The Children's Blizzard " and "The Long Way Home" "A lovingly crafted saga of sweat and idealism that raised goosebumps from the first page. I was enthralled by the story's play of light and shadow, of mortality and immortality, and its multidimensional recreation of the pursuit of excellence. This meditation on human f