by Daniel James Brown, 2013, Viking Penguin Group
This book is meticulously researched, well-written, and the author obviously has a great love for his subject. It’s about the crew from the University of Washington that won the nine-man rowing Olympic medal in Berlin in 1936. The story is interlaced with background information on the various members of the crew and, in particular, the life of Joe Ratz prior to his attendance at the University of Washington. Some of the details are pretty grim, but, nonetheless, they add to the story of how they went about winning the gold medal.
Daniel James Brown also provides an accurate portrayal of what was occurring in Nazi Germany at the time and how Goebbles wanted to show the new Germany to the world through the Olympic events. Very scary stuff.
This is a really good book, even if the reader doesn’t have a great deal of appreciation for what’s involved in the sport of rowing. The author even gets caught up in the excitement of a race that took place almost eighty years ago.