The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat Summary

The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about the American Olympic rowing triumph  in Nazi Germany—from the author of Facing the Mountain.

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.

Book Reviews


Love it5 star

Must read55


Great book5 star

Loved this book. The personalities of all the boys was really interesting. Makes you proud to be a westerner.55


Wonderful piece of art!5 star

Words cannot simply convey how much I enjoyed reading this book. It was recommended to me by a local sports station radio host Craig Miller. His passion for the book and the sports tie in compelled me to purchase and read this wonderful piece of art. There were times I found myself cheering the Washington boys on as if I were right there with them and at other times I found myself weeping because of the hardships. This is a wonderful piece of art and if you are looking for a story of perseverance, brotherhood, teamwork and love of family then look no more. Well done Daniel!55

schwimmeren frau

Boys in the Boat Review5 star

As I High School I always am looking for a new read in my spare time and this book was recommended to me. This book stirred my inner soul with its tail of rags to riches set in Washington. I would even go as far to say that this is my new favorite book. Happy Reading!55

jenn pak

Jenn pak5 star

I loved this book! Such a fantastic telling of a story that can mean so many things to so many people. It was a page turner and a historic story. Thank you for writing it so finely with momentous language. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read this fine work!55


Boys in the Boat5 star

Fascinating and heart-warming55

Rare and tear

Excellent5 star

Excellent story! Well told. I felt like I was there.55


Great rrad5 star

Everybody, every HS school should read this book absolutely gorgeous story55


Teamwork5 star

This book was brought to my attention by an anesthesiologist I worked with In Eureka, California. I have never been much of a boater and only went out to do freshwater fishing. I was somewhat reluctant to give this book a chance. All that changed into the first chapter. This was a page turner from the git-go! This story was about young me with courage and guts, about families from different backgrounds, about perseverance and giving all you have as part of a team to accomplish a goal that in the beginning, no one thought it could be done. This is a great book. BTW... I learned a lot about boating reading this true story about the Boys In The Boat.55

spartan gal

Amazingly well written!5 star

After reading this book, I cannot adequately express how well written it was! I felt like I wanted to know each and every person in this story - well except for the German connection. Truly amazes me the challenges people have had to go through, and the success they achieve!! What a truly fascinating story. I found it extremely inspiring and am so proud of these people that were and are part of our country. Their hard work, dedication, perseverance, respect and grit was incredible! Thank you for introducing me to this grueling sport I knew nothing about. Thank you to those that wanted to share this story, and thank you for writing it so beautifully! I even found the notes fascinating to read!!!55

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