The Boys in the Boat
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin OlympicsBook - 2013
From Library Staff
Discussed at the March 26, 2017 meeting
*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.
Librarian_Deb Sep 29, 2017
This profile of the nine young men who represented the US in rowing at the 1936 Olympics is so much more than just a sports story. As it digs into the lives of these young men, especially Joe Rantz, the reader gets a vivid picture of life in the Seattle area during the 1930's. Events like the bui... Read More »
tscpl_nate Apr 11, 2017
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 »
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
“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
"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
“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.”
SummaryAdd a Summary
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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