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Book Club- West Los Angeles

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

When: Sunday, August 19, 2018
3:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: Office of Dr. Lauren Wecker
2001 S. Barrington Ave., Suite 117
Los Angeles, California  90025
United States
Contact: Dr. Lauren Wecker
(310) 383-1505

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                                                                                                                 LACPA’s Summer Book Club Meetings

The Boys in the Boat:

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

by Daniel James Brown


Our summer selection, The Boys in the Boat (2014) has the strongest Amazon customer reviews of any book read by the LACPA Book Club in 12 years:

4.8 out of 5 stars, 82% gave it 5 stars and 13% gave it 4 stars!


Here is a compilation of the book summary and a few of the many strong reviews, some of which have been edited, on Amazon.com. 


Book Summary: 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.


Reviews: “The astonishing story of the UW’s 1936 eight-oar varsity crew and its rise from obscurity to fame…The individual stories of these young men are almost as compelling as the rise of the team itself. Brown excels at weaving those stories with the larger narrative, all culminating in the 1936 Olympic Games…A story this breathtaking demands an equally compelling author, and Brown does not disappoint. The narrative rises inexorably, with the final 50 pages blurring by with white-knuckled suspense as these all-American underdogs pull off the unimaginable.”—The Seattle Times


“Brown’s book juxtaposes the coming together of the Washington crew team against the Nazis’ preparations for the Games, weaving together a history that feels both intimately personal and weighty in its larger historical implications. When Brown, a Seattle-based nonfiction writer, describes a race, you feel the splash as the oars slice the water, the burning in the young men’s muscles and the incredible drive that propelled these rowers to glory.” —Smithsonian Magazine

“Every sport needs its laureate. With The Boys in the Boat, crew has found its voice in Daniel James Brown, who tells a thrilling, heart-thumping tale of a most remarkable band of rowing brothers who upstaged Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics.  Well-told history, packed with suspense and a likable bunch of underdogs at the heart of an improbable triumph.”—Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time



Please Note: Want to recommend a book for 2019?  During our August meetings, we brainstorm possible books, which must be read by at least one person in the group, for consideration by the Book Club leaders. 


 West Los Angeles
Sunday, August 19th at 3:00 PM
Office of Dr. Lauren Wecker
2001 S. Barrington Ave., Ste. 117
Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 383-1505


 Join us for great discussions with fellow LACPA members!

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