Daniel James Brown’s robust 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.
The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home.
Drawing on the boys’ own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, “The Boys in the Boat” is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times, according to a review published on goodreads.com.
It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam’s “The Amateurs.”