Monday, April 4, 2016

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Several patrons recommended this book to me and I have finally gotten around to reading it.  I am glad I did. I am not typically a non-fiction reader, but every now and then one ends up in my lap that I really enjoy.  

This is about 9 boys from the University of Washington who row their way to an Olympic medal, despite all the odds against them.  These 9 young men, most of them poor, sons of loggers, farmers and shipyard workers, melded together as a team and beat the elite rowers from the Ivy Schools in the east, their greatest rival, the University of California at Berkley, and Great Britain.  In particular, it is the story of Joe Rantz, who despite being abandoned by his family at age 10, overcame adversity, worked hard and succeeded in life.  Even if you are not a big fan of rowing, (and there is a lot of detail about the sport), this book will make you want to stand up and cheer.  


It is also a history lesson about the world at that time: The Great Depression, Hitler coming to power, and the Dust Bowl.  

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