Audiobook, History, Non Fiction

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown ★★★★★

Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics


This is a bit more than the story of the 1936 Olympic crew challenge by the team from the University of Washington. Using one of the crew members as the focus, it combines his personal experience against the backdrop of the important historical events of that era (the 1929 stock market crash and resultant depression, the dust bowls, the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich, etc.). It made for a richer story with the added context.

While the backgrounds and histories of the other members of the 9-man crew team were also provided, Joe Rantz’s story was the main focus. His was symbolic of the boys who became men even before they started college given the challenges of that time. By the time I got to the actual Olympic race, I felt these men had already reached heroic heights, especially Joe.

Edward Herrmann was fantastic as the narrator. He brought each character to life and his calling of the Olympic race was just outstanding. I highly recommend the audio version.

This story left me inspired and will continue to do so every time I think about the team. What a wonderful tribute to these men.

Also check out the PBS documentary, The Boys of ‘36.

Book Info

  • Release Date: June 4, 2013
  • Narrator: Edward Herrmann
  • Audio Length: 14 hours, 25 minutes


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15 thoughts on “The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown ★★★★★”

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