The US rowing team’s victory at Hitler’s 1936 Olympics is charted in a dramatic Depression-era account destined for Hollywood – Jay Parini
A Must Read. . .or Listen
If you’ve followed my Twitter feed over @Hungry4History, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been bragging on the book, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics. We started it on our way down to Florida in August and finished it this weekend on our way to Kentucky.
Washington State connection
Brown’s audiobook, narrated by Edward Herrmann, is one that took me back to my home state of Washington. I felt a deeper connection to the setting and to one particular athlete Brown focuses the story on, Joe Rantz. I caught myself literally on the edge of my seat, even if it was in the car, numerous times as the boys raced in collegiate and Olympic races. You know by the title of the book what the outcome is and It’s not just the racing that moves you with this story, it’s each of the nine young men that came together from humble backgrounds during the Depression-era. Their university shell house was not located on an ivy league campus, but one thousands of miles away from on the coast of Washington State.
By the end of the book I turned to my husband as we cruised up I-75 and told him that the story was one of the most moving and inspirational ones we’d listened to in a while. He agreed but minus my overly gushing enthusiasm. I did get a bit choked up during the epilogue but shh! that’s just between me and you.
Movie in the works?
As Angelina Jolie sets off to direct Unbroken, based on another one of my favorite history related books, I can’t help but hope that The Boys in the Boat makes it to the big screen as well. I poked around a bit online and there were several references back in 2011 to Kenneth Branagh directing the movie but that’s about all I found.
Since starting The Boys in the Boat, I’ve followed @UWHuskyCrew on Twitter and online to learn more about the team in 2013. They have done an excellent job recording and sharing the 100+ year history of rowing at the University of Washington.
Since finishing The Boys in the Boat, I have a new-found respect for the sport of rowing and plan to cheer on my home state Huskies, even if it is online from the state of Georgia. I’m also excited to see what is in store for them in Rio in 2016. . .80 years after the Boys in the Boat brought home the gold.
For more information:
Author Daniel James Brown’s website
University of Washington Husky Crew on Facebook