The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat

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

eBook - 2013
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This 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. It traces the story of the team that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder, and a homeless teen rower.
Publisher: New York : Viking, [2013]
ISBN: 9781101622742
Branch Call Number: EBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource (404 pages) : illustrations

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Two Nonfiction books about the Pacific Northwest: ‘The Boys in the Boat’ and ‘The Boy Who Shot the Sheriff’

I must confess–every year I tell myself that I will try to read more nonfiction and ever year I read a bit more but perhaps not as much as I had intended. Last year I happened to read two nonfiction titles that delve into different slices of Washington state history. (more)

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History/General Nonfiction Finalist.

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Aug 05, 2020

This is one of my favorite books we've read as a part of the Columbia One Read. If you enjoy history and knowing more about the people in the story, this is a book for you.

Jul 01, 2020

Masterfully written book about the ordinary young men who pulled off a stunning feat against many obstacles in the couple of years leading to the Olympics and at the actual games. On a sporting level, 8-man rowing is revealed to be the ultimate team sport, requiring all oarsmen to operate in absolute unison with respect to timing, power, and endurance.
Interwoven are accounts of the evil forces in Nazi Germany before, during, and after 1936, plus the deception perpetrated by Hitler and Goebbels that world leaders and IOC head Avery Brundage were all too eager to believe.

Mar 05, 2020

Excellent book about young men who should not have won a gold medal for rowing plus the Nazi Olympics of 1936. Highly recommend!! Kristi & Abby Tabby

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

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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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