The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat

Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Large Print - 2013
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"The University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the nine boys, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what beating the odds really meant. They defeated elite rivals from California and eastern schools to earn the right to compete against the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic Games in Berlin. The crew was assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it was their trust in each other that made them a victorious team"--back cover.
Published: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press, A part of Gale, Cengage Learning,, 2013.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410459541
Branch Call Number: 797.123 BRO
Characteristics: 743 pages (large print) :,illustrations ;,23 cm


From Library Staff

List - Feel Good Non-Fiction
DBRL_IdaF Sep 04, 2018

If you're in the mood for a tale of overcoming adversity to achieve something great through the virtues of teamwork and cooperation, this book is for you.

The winning title for One Read 2014.

From the critics

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Feb 06, 2020

I was impressed by James Brown's writing and the thorough research that he did in order to understand the heart and soul of the sport. I learned a great deal about the sport of rowing, WWII through the lens of the 1936 Olympics, and the lives of the nine boys in the boat. Great read, highly recommend.

Jan 03, 2020

Rowing is not the most popular sport in today's televised era, but In the 1930s, it was one of the most esteemed sports. Today, Seattle is a thriving hub of technology and culture, but in the 1930s, it was little more then a spot on the map to most. Enter the Washington University rowing crew, working towards the 1936 Berlin Olympics and becoming one of the greatest eight man crews in history. This was is a very inspirational book, explaining the intricacies of eight man rowing so you don't have to be a rower yourself to understand this book. It was a bit confusing however, when the author referred to characters in 3rd person, which happens often. Still a great book that paints a real picture of the crew and the 1930s Seattle that they practiced in. I would recommend this book to "experienced" readers because of its length, but it is definitely a must-read. 4/5
@mittopic of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Nov 28, 2019

Extremely well researched and written, detailing life during the depression and events in Germany pre-WW2. Highly recommended.

Nov 07, 2019

The boys in the boat is an amazing true story about the Washington university rowing crew and mainly a young college student named Joe the book takes place around 1936 and it talks a lot about the situation in Germany during that time as well as talking about the rowing crew for Washington in 1936, which is when the olímpicos in Berlin took place.

I would give the boys in the boat a 5 out of 5 it was so fun to read I got sucked into it and I learned a lot about the sport of rowing and the situation in Germany.

Nov 04, 2019

Absolutely loved this book! It could be my favorite of all time. What a story! Even though I knew how it would end, I couldn't put it down. Loved the history woven in to help readers really grasp the era. Very well written and researched!

Oct 22, 2019

My kids got me this book and I thought it was one of the best books I've ever read. It combines WW 2 history with sports and human struggle and achievement. The author weaves all of that together in an awesome way! Wow!

Aimee M Trudel
Sep 17, 2019

Jan Reynolds' recommendation NF

Aug 25, 2019

The audiobook format for this title is so good. I couldn't stop listening and I think Joe was the perfect man to follow for the duration of the story. It's amazing that all of this happened right before WW2.

IndyPL_SteveB Aug 03, 2019

This is the inspirational story of the University of Washington eight-oar crew which defeated the Nazis to win the Gold Medal at Hitler’s Berlin Olympics in 1936. Many books have been written about Jesse Owens’ triumphs in those Games; but this story is just as dramatic. The Washington sons of fishermen, farmers, loggers, and laborers found a way to merge their strengths in what seemed to them almost mystical ways to form one of the great crews of all time. Before even getting to the Olympics, they had to prove themselves against the rich kids from the Ivy League by winning the national rowing championship and the Olympic Trials.

It may be hard to understand today, but in the 1920s and 1930s, rowing was one of the most popular sports in America and in the world. Tens of thousands of people watched the great American crew races, and the international prestige attached to the Olympic gold medal was significant. Hitler, Goebbels, and Goring all attended the rowing finals. Brown mixes in a lot of the secret Nazi history, including the planning for the Games, the beginnings of the death camps, and the ways the Nazi propaganda machine fooled the world press and leaders into thinking Germany was a peaceful, forward-looking country. This is great writing about history, sports, and achievement.

Jun 23, 2019

What a wonderful story about a group of under dogs who fight to become big time winners. Very motivating and educational.

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ArapahoeMaryA Feb 21, 2019

Perhaps the seeds of redemption lay not just in perseverance, hard work, and rugged individualism. Perhaps they lay in something more fundamental—the simple notion of everyone pitching in and pulling together.

Harmony, balance, and rhythm. They’re the three things that stay with you your whole life. Without them civilization is out of whack. And that’s why an oarsman, when he goes out in life, he can fight it, he can handle life. That’s what he gets from rowing.

Jan 02, 2017

“It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down,” he told his daughter, Marilynn. “What matters is how many times you get up.” - page 233

Jan 02, 2017

"To defeat an adversary who was your equal, maybe even your superior, it wasn't necessarily enough just to give your all from start to finish. You had to master your opponent mentally. When the critical moment in a close race was upon you, you had to know something he did not - that down in your core you still had something in reserve, something you had not yet shown, something that once revealed would make him doubt himself, make him falter just when it counted the most. Like so much in life, crew was partly about confidence, partly about knowing your heart." - page 106

WVMLlibrarianTara Nov 26, 2014

“What mattered more than how hard a man rowed was how well everything he did in the boat harmonized with what the other fellows were doing. And a man couldn’t harmonize with his crewmates unless he opened his heart to them. He had to care about his crew.”


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Jul 23, 2019

loved this book!

Oct 18, 2014

A timeless story of perseverance, of survival in a world full of obstacles. Joe Rantz faced abandonment by his family, putting himself through college, the dust bowl and great depression, and ultimately Hitler's influence in athletic competition. But his biggest obstacle at times was himself. Finally becoming a reliable piece of a cohesive whole, he and his crewmates lifted the Husky Clipper off the surface of the water, to the rafters of Washington's shellhouse, and into history.


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