In his book, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest For Gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Daniel James Brown chronicles the true tale of The University of Washington rowing crew as they row for college and country on the international stage. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the rise of Nazi Germany, this incredible story shows how nine individuals from blue-collar backgrounds became the team which overcame tremendous obstacles to win Olympic gold.
The Boys in the Boat gives the reader a first-hand account of the grueling world of competitive rowing and the punishment and persistence it takes for even a chance to succeed in the sport. But the story is about much more than rowing. It is a personal perspective of the young men who fought a day-to-day battle to survive economic hardship and the prospect of world war. Brown is a gifted story-teller who has meticulously researched every facet pertinent to a comprehensive narrative with an emotional pull. Excellently written, the reader experiences every heart-breaking loss as well as every exhilarating triumph.
As a history buff, a sports fan, and a former resident of the Pacific Northwest, I found The Boys in the Boat both enthralling and inspiring. It is an extraordinary story of ordinary men who, in spite of incredible opposition, exemplify courage and perseverance to accomplish great glory for each other and for their country. The Boys in the Boat is a masterfully told tale that deserves to be read again and again. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.