The Boys in the Boat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Theboysintheboat.jpg
The front cover art of The Boys in the Boat
Author Daniel James Brown
Original title The Boys in the Boat
Language English
Genre Narrative nonfiction
Publisher Penguin Books
Publication date
June 4, 2013
Media type Print
Pages 404
ISBN 978-0670025817

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is a non-fiction book written by Daniel James Brown and published on June 4, 2013.

Plot[edit]

This book is about the University of Washington eight-oared crew that represented the United States in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and narrowly beat out Italy and Germany to win the gold medal. The main character is Joe Rantz.

There are two backstories. One illustrates how all nine members of the Washington team came from lower-middle-class families and had to struggle to earn their way through school during the depths of the Depression. Along with the chronicle of their victories and defeats in domestic competition, the reader learns the importance of synchronization of the eight rowers as they respond to the commands of the coxswain and his communications with the stroke, consistent pacing, and sprint to the finish.

The second backstory begins with a depiction of Hitler decreeing construction of the spectacular German venues at which the Games would take place. Along the way, the book also claims that the Nazis successfully covered up the evidence of their harsh and inhumane treatment of the Jews so as to win worldwide applause for the 1936 Olympic Games, during the United States Olympic Committee among others.

All comes together with a description of the final race. During the 1930s, rowing was a popular sport with millions following the action on the radio. The victorious Olympians became national heroes. In accordance with the strictures of amateur athletics, the boys sank into relative obscurity after their victory but were still better off than their parents, and for the rest of their lives proud of their accomplishment. After their win, they would come together every few years to row again.

Adaptation[edit]

On March 3, 2011, The Weinstein Company acquired the film rights to the story.[1] Film director Kenneth Branagh is set to direct the film and Donna Gigliotti is producing the film.[2]

The story of the gold medal winning crew also inspired a 2016 PBS American Experience documentary The Boys of ’36.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

Other works by this author[edit]

  • Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinkley Firestorm of 1894. May 1, 2006.
  • The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride. April 28, 2009.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weinstein Company Captures Book Proposal On 1936 U.S. Olympics Crew Team". deadline.com. March 3, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Weinsteins acquire Olympic rowing tale". Variety. March 3, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Boys of '36". American Experience. PBS. 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "New York Times Best Sellers Paperback Nonfiction - nytimes.com". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  5. ^ "ABA Announces 2014 Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Winners - bookweb.org". Apr 15, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  6. ^ "Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Awards & Grants". Feb 6, 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-15.