The story of the 1936 Olympics and the team of students who persevered despite all odds is beautifully written. I enjoyed this book. It's a depiction of life during the Great Depression, including family interactions, collegiate team work, and courage. The story reminds me that during challenging times, if you focus on your dreams, anything is possible.— Karen
July 2013 Indie Next List
“n the early 1930's, nine young University of Washington students are part of the rowing crew striving to achieve the final pick to become the team to represent the USA at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin as Hitler brazenly builds his Third Reich. Fiercely determined by the hard times of the Great Depression, this is an emotional story of the crew and those who put their trust in them as they put their hearts into 'sculpting”
— Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA
The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany and now the inspiration for the forthcoming PBS documentary “Boys of ‘36”
For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.
About the Author
Daniel James Brown is the author of two previous nonfiction books, The Indifferent Stars Above and Under a Flaming Sky, which was a finalist for a Barnes & Noble Discover Award. He has taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University. He lives outside Seattle.
Praise for The Indifferent Stars Above
(A New York Times Editors's Pick; An IndieNext Notable Pick; A B&N Best of the Year selection; finalist for the Washington State Book Award)
"An ideal pairing of talent and material."
— Mary Roach, The New York Times
"A remarkable book...hard to put down."
— The Seattle Times
“A compelling read…capturing the stories of heroism and loss with imagination and attention-grabbing skill.”
— The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“This deft slice of regional history will attract disaster and weather buffs as well as fans of Norman Maclean’s standout book, Young Men and Fire.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)