The Boys In The Boat

Daniel James Brown

2013 Nominee

William Hill Sports Book of the Year

2014 Nominee

James Tait Black Prize for Biography

02 January 2014
416 pages


Now a major motion picture, directed by George Clooney.

From the Great Depression to Nazi Germany, The Boys in the Boat is the astonishing true story of the 1936 American men's eight rowing team on their quest for Olympic gold.

'It is impossible not to get wrapped up in the emotion' – The Times

It is considered one of the most difficult sports in the world. For Joe Rantz, it might be his only choice.

Cast aside by his family at an early age, Joe was abandoned, left to fend for himself in the woods of Washington State. Like so many, he had to work his way through college. The rowing team offered money – and a home.

An extraordinary journey follows, as Joe and eight other working-class boys exchange the sweat and dust of life in 1930s America for the promise of glory on the team – and at the Berlin Olympics, in the heart of Hitler’s Germany.

With the weight of history on his shoulders, stroke by stroke, Joe strives to regain his shattered self-regard, to dare again to trust in others – and to find his way back home.

Rising above the grand sweep of history, Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat is a personal story of unexpected beauty, capturing the purest essence of what it means to be alive.

'A moving, enlightening and gripping tale' – Financial Times

Chariots of Fire – with oars [Brown’s] descriptions of the key races are exciting and dramatic, and it is impossible not to get wrapped up in the emotion
Like Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit and Michael Lewis’s Moneyball before it, The Boys in the Boat has all the ingredients for a film adaptation . . . a moving, enlightening and gripping tale.
Daniel James Brown has written a robust, emotional snapshot of an era, a book you will recommend to your best friends.