Daniel James Brown's book, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, is an awe-inspiring read about the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar varsity rowing crew and their quest for the Olympic Gold Medal. This against-all-odds story will have you turning the pages all the way to the end. Brown gives a compelling account of the personal struggles nine exceptional young men strive to overcome in order to prove their worth and stamina in the competitive field of collegiate rowing. But the story is not just about the sport. It's about fulfilling one's dream: pushing oneself beyond the possible: looking adverse conditions in the face and never giving up, and most importantly, learning to trust and give yourself over to those who have your back.
The 1936 Olympics were held in Germany with Hitler using the games as a propaganda ploy in his scheme to conquer the world. The final race for the Gold will have you holding your breath as the University of Washington's crew face unbelievable handicaps thrown at them at the last minute: bad weather; life threatening illness; unfair rowing regulation changes made to give Germany the advantage. Not since Laurie Hilldenbrands' Seabiscuit: An American Legend or Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air has a nonfiction book left such an impression.
Labels: book review, Depression, Olympics, rowing, The Boys in the Boat, World War II