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If I told you one of the most propulsive reads you will experience this year is the non fiction story of eight rowers and one coxswain training to attend the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, you may not believe me But you d need to back up your opinion by reading this book first, and you will thank me for it Daniel James Brown has done something extraordinary here We may already know the outcome of that Olympic race, but the pacing is exceptional Brown juxtaposes descriptions of crew training in Sea If I told you one of the most propulsive reads you will experience this year is the non fiction story of eight rowers and one coxswain training to attend the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, you may not believe me But you d need to back up your opinion by reading this book first, and you will thank me for it Daniel James Brown has done something extraordinary here We may already know the outcome of that Olympic race, but the pacing is exceptional Brown juxtaposes descriptions of crew training in Seattle with national races against the IV League in Poughkeepsie we see developments in a militarizing Germany paired with college competitions in depression era United States individual portraits of the boys now dead are placed alongside cameos of their coaches he shares details of the early lives of a single oarsman, Joe Rantz, with details of his wife s parallel experiences.The 1936 Olympics in Berlin was the stuff of legend, when Jesse Owens swept four gold medals in field and track, but a Washington crew team won that summer also, against great odds How that victory took place and how a group of great athletes became great competitors is something Daniel James Brown spent five years trying to articulate Quotes from George Pocock, crafter of cedar shells, head each chapter, sharing his experience watching individual oarsmen become a team At various times I have heard sports like baseball or golf, and now crew, described as the thinking man s game I like to imagine that any sport, particularly a team sport, is best performed when one is thinking Surely strategies and tactics are involved But when a team sport is performed fast and in key, there is something organic in its growth and peak performance that transcends thinking For one thing, there is the sustained coordinated rhythm of many bodies performing as one, starting from zero and demanding as much as two hundred heartbeats per minute in a sprint, erasing the individual and coalescing into something much bigger than each individual effort could achieve This particular crew overcame the usual and expected race day catastrophes to deliver the sweetest win they or their coaches had ever experienced It is a story at the time and on the level of the historic Seabiscuit An American Legend victory speaking of the horse, the race, and the book by Laura Hillenbrand One of the things about a great book is the energy one derives from having encountered it Great teachers generate interest in a subject and Brown did that in this book Even if you have no knowledge of or interest in rowing before you begin, you will be fascinated by the end In addition, Brown tells us some things about the Third Reich and Leni Reifenstahl s photography for Hitler and of the 1936 Olympics that makes me want to revisit that film record Reifenstahl had taken pictures after the event of the rowing crews from inside their boats, among other things, and when the film Olympia came out two years later, it cemented her reputation as a great filmmaker Of course she is best known for creating the great propaganda film, Triumph of the Will She used camera angles and techniques that had never been used before and was extraordinarily successful in supporting the political machine that was Germany in the 1930s A film version of The Boys in the Boat is scheduled, reputedly with Kenneth Branagh directing, which is sure to capture further interest in this remarkable story A radio interview with Daniel James Brown is available to download from San Francisco radio station KLLC radioalice In it Daniel James Brown shares a little of his narrative non fiction technique of keeping readers dangling at critical moments and turning instead to talk of parallel events to keep the tension high He does it better than almost anyone writers take note I believe I can guarantee this title either you or someone close to you will find this a riveting summer read I am pleased to be able to offer a giveaway of this title through my blog, ending August 15, 2013 just enough time to receive it and read it before summer ends So all of you unsure whether nonfiction is your thing, put aside your reservations, add your name to the list, and see if this story doesn t float your boat I honestly didn t think I would be interested in a book about rowing, but I just couldn t ignore the fact that so many people loved this book I added it to my list of books to read about three years ago and I m so glad that I finally got to it because it was about so muchthan the sport Nine young men making up the USA Rowing Team in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin weren t just rowing for a medal, they were rowing for a set of values, a way of life They were the USA Olympics Rowing Team co I honestly didn t think I would be interested in a book about rowing, but I just couldn t ignore the fact that so many people loved this book I added it to my list of books to read about three years ago and I m so glad that I finally got to it because it was about so muchthan the sport Nine young men making up the USA Rowing Team in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin weren t just rowing for a medal, they were rowing for a set of values, a way of life They were the USA Olympics Rowing Team competing during a time when Hitler and the Nazis were making laws against Jews, burning books and planning the horrors that we now know occurred It s about how this team of young men from working class families who worked hard, endured hardships, and achieved greatness in the eyes of the world, and most certainly in the eyes of their fellow Americans It s a reflection of the time in the US just after the stock market crash and the Great Depression While it s the story of this team and this country, we also experience the story on apersonal level through Joe Rantz s life.The narrative alternates between the time that Joe Rantz is a student at the University of Washington and to his sad childhood Joe seemed to live an ideal life, happy with his mother and father and brother until his mother dies when he was four It was heartbreaking to see how he was abandoned time and time again when his father remarries and his stepmother just doesn t want him around At ten he lives a life in exile and at fifteen ends up on his own, digging ditches, building barns, doing whatever it took to support himself and eat With such stamina and dedication, working as a janitor at the Y for a room, practicing, and studying, I couldn t help but love Joe and his teammates and pull for them with each race Highly recommended, even if you re not interested in crewing because this is just so muchThis was my first audio book I tried previously and couldn t get used to the feeling that someone was reading to me, but I thought I d try again It turned out to be a great experience, no doubt because of the inspiring story I love books and movies that get you interested in sports you never cared about before Also, I love how the Olympics does the same thing You turn on the TV and suddenly life itself depends on the outcome of some not quite mainstream sport like biathlon, cycling, diving, curling, etc and, while watching, you become an expert at all the finer points of the sport The Boys in the Boat is the perfect example of this type of story And, with the Winter Olympics coming up, the perfect way to whet I love books and movies that get you interested in sports you never cared about before Also, I love how the Olympics does the same thing You turn on the TV and suddenly life itself depends on the outcome of some not quite mainstream sport like biathlon, cycling, diving, curling, etc and, while watching, you become an expert at all the finer points of the sport The Boys in the Boat is the perfect example of this type of story And, with the Winter Olympics coming up, the perfect way to whet my appetite for the competition.In this case, the sport is rowing The underdogs are the working class Western US college boys competing against the upper class Ivy Leaguers of the East The true story of their progress to success and Olympic glory is enthralling The writing is superb You will find yourself falling in love with rowing even if you have never seen an oar slice through the water before History buffs, sports fans, and people who love a good story about the disrespected underdog finding ultimate success in the end this book is for you Side note this book also does a great job capturing the development of the Nazi regime as they rose to power while preparing for the 1936 Olympics The stories of whitewashing the towns to cover up poverty and the newly established oppression of Jews and other minorities is heart wrenching Tales of the propaganda machine and the wool pulled over the eyes of the world is amazing At one point, the author goes through a list of the things the athletes did not see , and I was wondering if this was an intentional play on Nazi.A 5 star book I am sad that it is over I read this book because my father kept telling me that I would enjoy it Truthfully, l finally picked up so he would stop nagging me about it even though it is about sports and history my two favorite things Boys in the Boat is the motivational story of Joe Rantz, his wife Joyce, and the other members of the 1936 Washington University rowing team that won gold at the Berlin Olympics This story is partially the story of Joe s perseverance during the depression and also his rowing team s quest I read this book because my father kept telling me that I would enjoy it Truthfully, l finally picked up so he would stop nagging me about it even though it is about sports and history my two favorite things Boys in the Boat is the motivational story of Joe Rantz, his wife Joyce, and the other members of the 1936 Washington University rowing team that won gold at the Berlin Olympics This story is partially the story of Joe s perseverance during the depression and also his rowing team s quest to make it to the Olympics and subsequent epilogue The story is definitely inspiring not just because the US team won gold in rowing in Berlin but because of Joe s story Abandoned by his father and stepmother and forced to live alone from his early teens, Joe worked his way to college and lived at the university gym Joining the rowing team as way to keep in shape, Joe still had to work between semesters and during the summer even taking part in the construction of the Cooley Dam, just so he would have enough money to pay for tuition Although during the depression, he somehow cobbled together the 25 necessary each term to stay in school This is definitely a far cry from today s pampered NCAA athletes Boys in the Boat is a story about perseverance and I enjoyed it immensely The reason I give this highly regarded book a 4 instead of a 5 is because the writing is not the absolute best, usually referring to Joe and Joyce in third person I recommend this often overlooked chapter in history to all who haven t read it yet [ Read Pdf ] ⚇ The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics ♛ For readers of Laura Hillenbrand s Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler sBerlin OlympicsDaniel James Brown s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington seight 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, 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 The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimismDrawing 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 the improbable, intimate story of nine working class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam s The Amateurs If someone had told me I would become emotionally invested is a book about rowing, I would have thought they were crazy First, I knew little about rowing and second, I had no desire to learn A read for a group I am in had me picking up this book and I am so glad I did As many mothers have said, try it before you decode you don t like it.An amazing balance of human interest, history and sport Joe Rantz s story had my mothers heart wanting to give his ten year old self a big hug His story and If someone had told me I would become emotionally invested is a book about rowing, I would have thought they were crazy First, I knew little about rowing and second, I had no desire to learn A read for a group I am in had me picking up this book and I am so glad I did As many mothers have said, try it before you decode you don t like it.An amazing balance of human interest, history and sport Joe Rantz s story had my mothers heart wanting to give his ten year old self a big hug His story and the man he became is simply heart breaking and admirable He and the other boys wormed their way under my skin and I found myself holding my breaththan once during their races.The book went back and forth between the US and Germany The snow job they pulled on the world during the Olympics, convincing many others that they were a progressive and fair nation There were small moments of humor too, as when the German people greeted our athletes with a raised arm and shouted, Heil, Hitler, our athletes raised their arms and answered back, Heil, Roosevelt.The sport of course took up much of the book from the scull maker, Popcock to the coach, Al Ubrickson The hard work that went into training, and of course the races, competitions between the East and West coast The lives of the men in the boat and what happened to them after All in all I found this a stirring read, a wonderful book This book was all right, but there was just too much of it and the title isn t very descriptive It s really only about one of the nine boys in the boat, plus their coach and the boatbuilder Oh, and Hitler Perhaps the author came to the project 10 15 years too late only one of the main subjects survived to be interviewed by 2006, and that figure Joe Rantz makes the book worthwhile Having grown up dirt poor, abandoned by his family, with a strong work ethic and a charming, loyal fianc e, This book was all right, but there was just too much of it and the title isn t very descriptive It s really only about one of the nine boys in the boat, plus their coach and the boatbuilder Oh, and Hitler Perhaps the author came to the project 10 15 years too late only one of the main subjects survived to be interviewed by 2006, and that figure Joe Rantz makes the book worthwhile Having grown up dirt poor, abandoned by his family, with a strong work ethic and a charming, loyal fianc e, he s someone you can t help but root for But his story is buried in dozens of pages of descriptions of early twentieth century crew rivalries and what woods to make boats out of and a highly superfluous retelling of the early years of Nazi rule All of that material is less interesting than Joe Rantz s life, and all of it is noticeably less immediate I often like nonfiction that weaves several strands together so my complaint here is chiefly about the comparative worthwhileness of the strands rather than the author s art in pulling them together Then there s the factor of the book s sheer length my sigh when I realized I was hundreds of pages in and only up to the start of junior year training must have been audible from Lake Washington.I ve written in another review or two about how the events of WWII, when you stare at them long enough, go from incomprehensible to almost unbelievable But this book and In The Garden of Beasts conjures the opposite cognitive problem, which is that it is impossible for the reader to put the facts of what happened after the 1930s out of our minds Both books are trading on a rather ghoulish dramatic irony of innocent, upstanding Americans willingly visiting the evil Nazi state without realizing the depth of its coming crimes, but neither manages to evoke the mindset that allowed the Americans to do so, or the historical fact that the later events of WWII and Holocaust were not inevitable In Erik Larson s book, I think there is a point to be made that a different man serving as ambassador might have measured up the dangerwisely, but where this book is concerned, it would be absurd to say Joe Rantz and his fellows who had barely been out of Washington State should have beenperceptive or that they could have done anything.Even whatever pleasure you might get from seeing an American team win under Hitler s nose has to be tempered by an appreciation of how meaningless this was in the long run The power in this story comes from the boys personal stories of overcoming Depression era obstacles, so padding the book with discussions of Leni Riefenstahl and the fate of a particular German Jewish family after Kristallnacht draws the wrong kind of contrast by putting the race in the context of world history rather than personal achievement.I m ultimately glad I read this because of its evocation of early twentieth century Seattle and its ability to make you cheer for Joe Rantz, but I suspect it was propelled onto the bestseller list by attracting the attention of readers who perhaps don t read 25 30 nonfiction books per year and liked the drama of the Olympic win and implied impending wartime victorythan I was bothered by the author s somewhat paint by numbers assembly of the elements of this story Why did I wait so long to read this Well, a couple of reasons 1 It s about rowing No offense, it s just not a sport I m wowed by 2 It s about a group of Americans going to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin Hey, I m Canadian, eh American patriotism and propaganda isn t my gig So finally I picked it up put it down Then thought to hell with it, I m doing this I cracked the spine, sat down and for the last few days, every spare moment has been living and breathing this story.It starts with th Why did I wait so long to read this Well, a couple of reasons 1 It s about rowing No offense, it s just not a sport I m wowed by 2 It s about a group of Americans going to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin Hey, I m Canadian, eh American patriotism and propaganda isn t my gig So finally I picked it up put it down Then thought to hell with it, I m doing this I cracked the spine, sat down and for the last few days, every spare moment has been living and breathing this story.It starts with the life of Joe Rantz, the crew member who sat in the 7th seat of the boat The abandonment he experienced as a child that shaped him into becoming the man he did It s of course about the sport which in itself is a paradox while the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, each member brought unique qualities and experiences to compliment each other to make a successful and cohesive crew The determination, the skill, the heart, soul and passion that goes into the making of an athlete the making of a team the realization of a dream.It s about the two faces Germany wore for the hundreds of thousands of spectators who came to watch The deception and political ploys used to prevent suspicions from being roused It will always eclipse the event to a certain degree.But most of all, it s an inspirational read and one that will remain most memorable to me 4 Wow The books power is in the storytelling Starts right out on page 1These were remarkable men their sacrifice committed dedication had to scape for everything their boat wasn t just handed to them not all had cozy supportive families Joe Rantz s humanity especially makes you want to be a better human being yourself All these men were humble with committed dedication they were a team Proud to be American With the American depression the dust bowl the rise to Hitler Wow The books power is in the storytelling Starts right out on page 1These were remarkable men their sacrifice committed dedication had to scape for everything their boat wasn t just handed to them not all had cozy supportive families Joe Rantz s humanity especially makes you want to be a better human being yourself All these men were humble with committed dedication they were a team Proud to be American With the American depression the dust bowl the rise to Hitler tensions kept building to the end until you just want to cry Its moving Spirit sings we feel it The Boys In The Boat in an extremely beuatifually written account of the Universary of Washingtons s Rowing team that won a gold Metal in 1936 Berlin Olympics I had no real desire to read a book about sport let alone read a book about rowing but something about a frinds s review here on goodreads pushed me to read this book and I am so glad I did as I loved every moment of it.I read this on Kindle oh how I wish I owned a Hard Copy of this book and I listened to it on audio and what wonderfulThe Boys In The Boat in an extremely beuatifually written account of the Universary of Washingtons s Rowing team that won a gold Metal in 1936 Berlin Olympics I had no real desire to read a book about sport let alone read a book about rowing but something about a frinds s review here on goodreads pushed me to read this book and I am so glad I did as I loved every moment of it.I read this on Kindle oh how I wish I owned a Hard Copy of this book and I listened to it on audio and what wonderful narrator Edward Hermann is He just made this book come alive and what a wonderful easy listening voice he has.Yes for those of you out there wondering if there are descriptions of boat building and rowing techniques and stragaties but there is so muchto this stroy I fell in love with Joe Ranrz and his story and zest for life, I loved the details given of the Berlin Olympics and how Hitler tried to showcase Germany to the rest of the world I learned so much from this book I also really enjoyed the sense of time and place set around the depression in America.Above all I It is an inspirational story of eight young men from different backgrounds who learned to work as a team and overcome tremendous obstacles, defeating elite teams from other universities and finally the German crew in Berlin.A terrific read and one that I am so glad I did not miss out on Thank you Diane