Cast aside by his family at an early age, abandoned and left to fend for himself in the woods of Washington State, young Joe Rantz turns to rowing as a way of escaping his past.
What follows is an extraordinary journey, as Joe and eight other working-class boys exchange the sweat and dust of life in 1930s America for the promise of glory at the heart of Hitler’s Berlin. Stroke by stroke, a remarkable young man strives to regain his shattered self-regard, to dare again to trust in others – and to find his way back home.
Told against the backdrop of the Great Depression, The Boys in the Boat is narrative non-fiction of the first order; a personal story full of lyricism and unexpected beauty that rises above the grand sweep of history, and captures instead the purest essence of what it means to be alive.
‘The Boys in the Boat is not only a great and inspiring true story; it is a fascinating work of history’ Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea
‘I really can't rave enough about this book . . . I read the last fifty pages with white knuckles, and the last twenty-five with tears in my eyes’ David Laskin, author of The Children's Blizzard and The Long Way Home
‘A thrilling, heart-thumping tale of a most remarkable band of rowing brothers’ Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time