The headlines of the 1936 Olympics definitely focused on Jesse Owens and his string of gold medal runs. But Daniel Brown tells another story of an unlikely victory from that same Olympic Games, the US men's rowing team and their struggle to the gold.
It begins with Joe Rantz, a poor, semi-orphaned farm boy who makes his way to Washington State University and onto its rowing team. What follows is a detailed history of rowing, boats, races and the other Boys in the Boat. Alongside them were their coach, Al Ulbrickson and the legendary boatmaker George Pocock. There are a few times when the narrative lags into too much information, but for the most part Brown brings these people, their struggles and triumphs to life and shares a little known piece of history. Overall, it's a great story. If you liked Hillenbrand's Unbroken and Seabiscuit then this is right up your alley.