The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat

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

Book - 2013
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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.
Publisher: New York : Viking, c2013.
ISBN: 9780670025817
Branch Call Number: 797.123 BRO
Characteristics: 404 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

The story of the Washington Crew Team that ended up competing in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. The story focuses on one member, Joe Rantz, but you also learn about all of the boys who were a part of this team and how their working class backgrounds helped propel them to heights they could ... Read More »

*Reading Bingo - A Book with a Sports Theme* I read this for book group. I struggled with the portrayals of Hitler's rise to power particularly with censorship/propaganda issues. I enjoyed the character development of the men who rowed and the excellent writing.

Discussed at the March 26, 2017 meeting

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MVBOOKCLUB Jul 29, 2017

Markham Village April Book Club Selection. So many great areas of history to discuss, wonderful characters, beautifully written.

Jun 25, 2017

The Boys in the boat is the one of most thrilling books I've ever read. This book shows the life of a sports players are and also shows the 1932 ~ 1936 times. This book is my Top red 40 books choice.

JCLCassandraG Jun 15, 2017

A uniquely compelling story, even if it's the farthest thing away from your usual interests. If you're having trouble getting into this one, I recommend diving a few chapters in and then going back to get your bearings after you're sucked in. Certain threads held my attention more than others and I was much more willing to hear the specific details about the boats and crews once I knew who would be in them!

May 13, 2017

An exceptional book. Well written. It captured my attention from the first page. I could not put it down. I felt like I knew these men, and I do not row. Beautiful detailed view of Seattle, the country and the world during this era. I came away with a new understanding.

Jan 02, 2017

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT is the inspiring true account of the 1936 US Olympic rowing team from the University of Washington who overcame adversity and achieved the improbable through perseverance, sacrifice, and teamwork. As the story progresses, while the group as a whole finds its “swing”, so do it’s individual members find themselves, in particular Joe Rantz, the central character of the story. Having known nothing about crew (competitive rowing) before reading this, I gained insight and appreciation for what it takes to excel in this sport. Set during the dark days of America’s Great Depression and Germany’s rise of Nazi power, THE BOYS IN THE BOAT is the perfect blend of human interest, history, and sport. What a terrific book! I hope one day it’ll be translated to the big screen.

AL_MARCIA Dec 28, 2016

This is a fantastic story about several young men from the University of Washington striving to be the best they can be. They eventually reach the Olympics in Germany under the watch eye of Adolf Hilter. It's a great demonstration of drive and perseverance.

Nov 08, 2016

This is a beautifully written nonfiction book that portrays the life of Joe Rantz and his olympic rowing team. The promotional zero to hero story is a page turner and I highly enjoyed it.

Sep 10, 2016

Great story about the 1936 Olympics, the Depression, rowing, finding ones self and what's important in life.

Aug 15, 2016

An amazing story about an amazing group of men. A really fun and interesting read for a sports fan, native northwesterner, UW graduate - anyone with ties to the Seattle area. The write does a great job of incorporating details about what life was like in WA state and the Seattle area during the 20's and 30's.

Jul 06, 2016

This book was beautifully written, many stories within one story. The stories inform about crew/rowing, about the craftsman who make the shells and other equipment, Seattle, and what lives were like during The Great Depression as well as the Nazi era before WW II. The individual lives of the men in the boat are the most fascinating part of the story.

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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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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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