Boys in the Boat (Brown)

Book Reviews
For those who like adventure stories straight-up, The Boys in the Boat…is this year’s closest approximation of Unbroken….It’s about the University of Washington’s crew team: Nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant.
New York Times


If you imagined a great regatta of books about rowing, then Brown's The Boys in the Boat certainly makes the final heat.
Boston Globe


The astonishing story of the UW’s 1936 eight-oar varsity crew and its rise from obscurity to fame.…The individual stories of these young men are almost as compelling as the rise of the team itself. Brown excels at weaving those stories with the larger narrative, all culminating in the 1936 Olympic Games…A story this breathtaking demands an equally compelling author, and Brown does not disappoint. The narrative rises inexorably, with the final 50 pages blurring by with white-knuckled suspense as these all-American underdogs pull off the unimaginable.
Seattle Times


Cogent history…and a surprisingly suspenseful tale of triumph.
USA Today


This riveting and inspiring saga evokes that of Seabiscuit…Readers need neither background nor interest in competitive rowing to be captivated by this remarkable and beautifully crafted history. Written with the drama of a compelling novel, it's a quintessentially American story that burnishes the esteem in which we embrace what has come to be known as the Greatest Generation.
Associated Press


A stirring tale of nine Depression-era athletes beating the odds and their inner demons to compete at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. You can Google the result and spoil the sport, but that won’t dull the many pleasures in Daniel James Brown’s colorful, highly readable celebration of a grueling collegiate challenge.
Bloomberg News


This riveting tale of beating the odds (and the Germans) at the 1936 Olympics is a rousing story of American can-do-ism. It’s also a portrait of the nine boys who first rowed together for the University of Washington, and of the one in particular who made the sport his family and his home.
Parade


Brown’s book juxtaposes the coming together of the Washington crew team against the Nazis’ preparations for the Games, weaving together a history that feels both intimately personal and weighty in its larger historical implications. This book has already been bought for cinematic development, and it’s easy to see why: When Brown, a Seattle-based nonfiction writer, describes a race, you feel the splash as the oars slice the water, the burning in the young men’s muscles and the incredible drive that propelled these rowers to glory.
Smithsonian Magazine


Brown tells...an all-American story of humble working-class boys squaring off against a series of increasingly odious class and political foes: their West Coast rivals at Berkeley; the East Coast snobs ....and ultimately the German team.... Brown lays on the aura of embattled national aspiration good and thick, but he makes his heroes’ struggle as fascinating as the best Olympic sagas
Publishers Weekly


In this sweeping saga, Brown vividly relates how, in 1936, nine working-class rowers from the University of Washington captured gold at the Berlin Olympics.... [T]hese athletes overcame the hopelessness common during the Great Depression by learning to trust themselves and one another, and by rowing with grace and power.... [A] superb book. —Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA
Library Journal


(Starred review.) If Jesse Owens is rightfully the most famous American athlete of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, repudiating Adolf Hitler’s notion of white supremacy by winning gold in four events, the gold-medal-winning effort by the eight-man rowing team from the University of Washington remains a remarkable story.... A book that informs as it inspires. —Alan Moores
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