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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Paperback – 27 May 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (27 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143125478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143125471
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.2 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 821,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'The Boys in the Boat is not only a great and inspiring true story; it is a fascinating work of history' Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea 'I really can't rave enough about this book... I read the last fifty pages with white knuckles, and the last twenty-five with tears in my eyes' David Laskin, author of The Children's Blizzard and The Long Way Home 'A thrilling, heart-thumping tale of a most remarkable band of rowing brothers' Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

An epic true-life journey to the heart of Hitler's Berlin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S2b an OAP VINE VOICE on 17 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Daniel James Brown has constructed an excellent historical account of the Washington Eight who not only overcame all sorts of personal adversity but finally overcame the propagandist-driven German state machine at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. This is not the first book I have read about coaching and team-working but this one has a tremendous depth of well-drawn context about the life and times in which the protagonists grew up and lived from the dust-bowl of the thirties in America, hot on the heels of the financial collapse at the end of the previous decade, through the manipulation by the Third Reich of 'their' Olympic games, famous for Jesse Owens perhaps rather more than the rowing-crew from the North West reaches of the US; and the Nazi rape of nations.

DJB has undertaken extensive research to develop a wonderful platform and shape to this thoroughly enthralling book. Learn more about the tough times in Europe and the US as well as the overcoming of evil by so much good. A good read and well-worth your personal effort in doing so.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Petra "I love to read" TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Nine Boys and a Boat by Daniel James Brown for me was a great read which for one main reason it was a true story which showed so much faith in a sport and of course "the boat".
There is a main character within this fascinating book but I for me the main star was the actual boat - as it for me was the centre of the storyline. This is not a normal book speaking about people's experiences at their time of the Olympics but with Hitler actually being there, this story is truly unique and exceptional.
I would highly recommend The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown as not only a terrific book but one with so much more than a typical book of fiction as the author spoke of the races taking place I could almost see the action happening straight in front of me. The author has a wonderful talent of bringing the story to his audience and for that simple reason I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys a good factual read based on characters like no other.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. Thurgood VINE VOICE on 21 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm not sure if my delight in this book is just Olympic legacy or something else - either way, this book is a stonking good read. Brief synopsis - it's the story of the Washington University rowing 8s team of 1936 who rowed to Gold at Hitler's Berlin Olympics. But it's much, much deeper than that. (as if that wasn't enough!) The story of the main protagonist, Joe Rantz, is told in full detail and told well. His was a tale of abandonment and obscurity, slowly transforming to success and adulation.

This book is a long one, and while it does talk about the science and skill of rowing, it's mainly about the people. There's lots of rivalry and overcoming of difficulty. You really get the feel for the personalities of the rowers and their own struggles both on and off the water. Naturally, being about Americans, it has a slight feel of, 'wow, isn't America amazing' but it is only slight - I would've been quickly switched off if the flag waving had been excessive. It's clear that the best boat builder of the era was George Pocock - and he was London born and bred.

I recommend this book to rowers and non-rowers alike - I'm certainly not a rower and I loved it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bacchus TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've never been that interested in rowing but the historical background of this book made me decide to read it.

The book concerns the make up and background of the USA rowing team which competed and won gold in the 1936 Olympic Games.

It is a heroic tale as the team was from the state university of Washington and its members were not preppy privileged boys (who would have attended Ivy League schools or Berkeley in California) but boys who came from modest or even impoverished backgrounds. Much of the narrative focuses on one of the crew, Joe Rantz, who was virtually abandonded by his family and felt he had much to prove. Much of the training and trials took place against the great economic difficulties of the Depression era.

However this story also deals with the preparations for the 1936 Olympic Games, which Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Goebbels had tried to turn into a showcase for the Nazi State. It would do this by trying to demonstrate that the State was not the anti-Semitic repressive one that people thought and to show how Aryan athletes were physically superior to all others. Goebbels was aided in this by the film maker Leni Riefenstahl.

The Games did not go to plan in many ways, mainly due to the amazing prowess of some of the American athletes. The achievements of Jesse Owens are well known. I was not aware until reading this book about the rowing team. The writer has described the nail biting tension of each race from the earliest trials in the University rowing club right up to the final Olympic triumph in 1936. It shows how touch and go the final race was. The Americans were behind throughout the race until the very last seconds.

I learned a lot about rowing from this book and came to appreciate how much sport can matter to people. It made for a useful metaphor for dealing with life's ups and downs.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Roberts on 20 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this because I had seen it recommended in many reviews,and it was interesting.The reader needs to be prepared for the fact that it is laid out like the very first version of an idea for a film,complete with nearly as much flashback/backstory as narrative,and with one major "personal journey" as the spine of the book at least as much as the advertised sporting story.I think the way it is directed will decide whether it wins Oscars or goes staight to the post-NCIS spot on Channel 5.I did find,possibly because it is an American authored story about an American subject,that I needed the odd sentence more background information about some events and terminology than I was given but it was well worth reading if one has an interest in coaching teams and individuals,about how people can be allowed make a life in difficult times and about the USA in the 20s and 30s.
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