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Resumen

The #1 New York Times -bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany, the inspiration for the PBS documentary The Boys of '36 , broadcast to coincide with the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 80th anniversary of the boys' gold medal race.

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.


Notas del autor

Daniel James Brown was born in Berkeley, California. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. He has taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University.

He is the author of The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride, Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894, and The Boys in the Boat.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reseñas 4

Reseña de Booklist

*Starred Review* If Jesse Owens is rightfully the most famous American athlete of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, repudiating Adolf Hitler's notion of white supremacy by winning gold in four events, the gold-medal-winning effort by the eight-man rowing team from the University of Washington remains a remarkable story. It encompasses the convergence of transcendent British boatmaker George Pocock; the quiet yet deadly effective UW men's varsity coach, Al Ulbrickson; and an unlikely gaggle of young rowers who would shine as freshmen, then grow up together, a rough-and-tumble bunch, writes Brown, not very worldly, but earnest and used to hard work. Brown (Under a Flaming Sky, 2006) takes enough time to profile the principals in this story while using the 1936 games and Hitler's heavy financial and political investment in them to pull the narrative along. In doing so, he offers a vivid picture of the socioeconomic landscape of 1930s America (brutal), the relentlessly demanding effort required of an Olympic-level rower, the exquisite brainpower and materials that go into making a first-rate boat, and the wiles of a coach who somehow found a way to, first, beat archrival University of California, then conquer a national field of qualifiers, and finally, defeat the best rowing teams in the world. A book that informs as it inspires.--Moores, Alan Copyright 2010 Booklist


Reseña de Publisher's Weekly

Doughty rowers heave against hard times and Nazis in this rousing sports adventure. Brown (Under a Flaming Sky) follows the exploits of the University of Washington's eight-man crew, whose national dynasty culminated in a gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Brown tells it as an all-American story of humble working-class boys squaring off against a series of increasingly odious class and political foes: their West Coast rivals at Berkeley; the East Coast snobs at the Poughkeepsie championship regatta; and ultimately the German team, backed by Goebbels and his sinisterly choreographed Olympic propaganda. The narrative's affecting center is Joe Rantz, a young every-oarsman who wrestles with the psychic wounds inflicted on him by poverty and abandonment during the Great Depression. For this nautical version of Chariots of Fire, Brown crafts an evocative, cinematic prose ("their white [oar] blades flashed above the water like the wings of sea birds flying in formation") studded with engrossing explanations of rowing technique and strategy, exciting come-from-behind race scenes, and the requisite hymns to "mystic bands of trust and affection" forged on the water. Brown lays on the aura of embattled national aspiration good and thick, but he makes his heroes' struggle as fascinating as the best Olympic sagas. Photos. Agent: Dorian Karchman, WME. (June 4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Reseña de Library Journal

Brown's (The Indifferent Stars Above) enormously uplifting book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar rowing team. Led by Joe Rantz, who had been abandoned by his family, the team beat the elite East Coast teams to represent the United States at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Edward Herrmann is a gifted reader. His voice is melodic, and his performance pitch-perfect. VERDICT Recommended for all readers who are interested in Horatio Alger stories, World War II history, and sports. ["Those who enjoy reading about Olympic history or amateur or collegiate sports will savor Brown's superb book," read the starred review of the Viking hc, LJ 4/15/13.]-Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Reseña de School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-In this adaptation of the book written for the adult market, Brown brings to life a captivating true but almost forgotten story. Though most Americans know the story of Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics in Germany, few have heard of the amazing underdog victory of a group of eight mostly impoverished farm boys from Washington who who overcame many obstacles to take the gold in rowing over favored Italy, Britain, and Germany. Focusing on Joe Rantz's story, the narrative encompasses the Depression, survival, broken families, and perseverance. Listeners learn details of the mental and physical aspects of rowing and the necessity of doing one's part for the team. Narrator Mark Bramhall performs flawlessly to provide an excellent telling of this gripping historical event. VERDICT This superb work describes an exciting time in American history and shines light on some little-known heroes. ["Those seeking an inspiring true story or a great sports tale will be pleased with this stirring work": SLJ 8/15 review of the Viking book.]-Deb Whitbeck, formerly of West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Extractos

Extractos

Prologue In a sport like this--hard work, not much glory, but still popular in every century--well, there must be some beauty which ordinary men can't see, but extraordinary men do. -- George Yeoman Pocock This book was born on a cold, drizzly, late spring day when I clambered over the split-rail cedar fence that surrounds my pasture and made my way through wet woods to the modest frame house where Joe Rantz lay dying. I knew only two things about Joe when I knocked on his daughter Judy's door that day. I knew that in his midseventies he had single-handedly hauled a number of cedar logs down a mountain, then hand-split the rails and cut the posts and installed all 2,224 linear feet of the pasture fence I had just climbed over--a task so herculean I shake my head in wonderment whenever I think about it. And I knew that he had been one of nine young men from the state of Washington--farm boys, fishermen, and loggers--who shocked both the rowing world and Adolf Hitler by winning the gold medal in eight-oared rowing at the 1936 Olympics. When Judy opened the door and ushered me into her cozy living room, Joe was stretched out in a recliner with his feet up, all six foot three of him. He was wearing a gray sweat suit and bright red, down-filled booties. He had a thin white beard. His skin was sallow, his eyes puffy--results of the congestive heart failure from which he was dying. An oxygen tank stood nearby. A fire was popping and hissing in the woodstove. The walls were covered with old family photos. A glass display case crammed with dolls and porcelain horses and rose-patterned china stood against the far wall. Rain flecked a window that looked out into the woods. Jazz tunes from the thirties and forties were playing quietly on the stereo. Judy introduced me, and Joe offered me an extraordinarily long, thin hand. Judy had been reading one of my books aloud to Joe, and he wanted to meet me and talk about it. As a young man, he had, by extraordinary coincidence, been a friend of Angus Hay Jr.--the son of a person central to the story of that book. So we talked about that for a while. Then the conversation began to turn to his own life. His voice was reedy, fragile, and attenuated almost to the breaking point. From time to time he faded into silence. Slowly, though, with cautious prompting from his daughter, he began to spin out some of the threads of his life story. Recalling his childhood and his young adulthood during the Great Depression, he spoke haltingly but resolutely about a series of hardships he had endured and obstacles he had overcome, a tale that, as I sat taking notes, at first surprised and then astonished me. But it wasn't until he began to talk about his rowing career at the University of Washington that he started, from time to time, to cry. He talked about learning the art of rowing, about shells and oars, about tactics and technique. He reminisced about long, cold hours on the water under steel-gray skies, about smashing victories and defeats narrowly averted, about traveling to Germany and marching under Hitler's eyes into the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, and about his crewmates. None of these recollections brought him to tears, though. It was when he tried to talk about "the boat" that his words began to falter and tears welled up in his bright eyes. At first I thought he meant the Husky Clipper , the racing shell in which he had rowed his way to glory. Or did he mean his teammates, the improbable assemblage of young men who had pulled off one of rowing's greatest achievements? Finally, watching Joe struggle for composure over and over, I realized that "the boat" was something more than just the shell or its crew. To Joe, it encompassed but transcended both--it was something mysterious and almost beyond definition. It was a shared experience--a singular thing that had unfolded in a golden sliver of time long gone, when nine good-hearted young men strove together, pulled together as one, gave everything they had for one another, bound together forever by pride and respect and love. Joe was crying, at least in part, for the loss of that vanished moment but much more, I think, for the sheer beauty of it. As I was preparing to leave that afternoon, Judy removed Joe's gold medal from the glass case against the wall and handed it to me. While I was admiring it, she told me that it had vanished years before. The family had searched Joe's house high and low but had finally given it up as lost. Only many years later, when they were remodeling the house, had they finally found it concealed in some insulating material in the attic. A squirrel had apparently taken a liking to the glimmer of the gold and hidden the medal away in its nest as a personal treasure. As Judy was telling me this, it occurred to me that Joe's story, like the medal, had been squirreled away out of sight for too long. I shook Joe's hand again and told him I would like to come back and talk to him some more, and that I'd like to write a book about his rowing days. Joe grasped my hand again and said he'd like that, but then his voice broke once more and he admonished me gently, "But not just about me. It has to be about the boat." Excerpted from The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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