The Boys in the Boat
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin OlympicsBook - 2013
From Library Staff
Nonfiction: Boys at the University of Wshington, sons of lumberjacks and working class families, face the elite crew teams from Cal and Ivy League schools. The focus is on a boy who was neglected, if not abused, by his family and how he became the mainstay of the team.
Nonfiction: Here is the dramatic true story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics. Brown draws on the team's own journals, photos, and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream.
Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington 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
From the critics
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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.
“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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