** The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics tells the inspiring story of how a team of undergraduates from the University of Washington beat all other college teams, including the vastly better funded East Coast ones, to quality for the Berlin Olympics and eventually win the event. While rowers may delight in the rowing descriptions, rowing is a pretty boring sport for outsiders, and the valiant efforts of the author could never lift the race descriptions from tedious status, at least for me. What makes the book are the personal stories of the rowers, most of whom came from extremely straightened circumstances during the Great Depression, as well as the story of the coach’s training method and the boat maker’s contributions to the team. It’s a good book to read during an Olympics year.


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