Book Review: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown


My book review of The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. A fantastic true story of the strength to overcome.

Title: The Boys in the Boat

By: Daniel James Brown

Genre: Historical Non-Fiction

Pages: 404

Release Date: January 1st, 2013

Publisher: Viking

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics.

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. 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 optimism.

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—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.


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This was an incredible story to read. Inspirational and absolutely epic.

The boys in the boat retells an incredible true story of 9 young men who came from nothing, but made something of themselves. When the odds were stacked against them, they came together as a team, supporting each other and pulling off one of the largest comebacks in Olympic history. Even when the German's tried to cheat.

I would recommend you read this book first if you want to watch the movie. There is far more description and backstory within these pages that the movie doesn't offer you. A wonderful heartfelt story.

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