Gathering of the Sunday Evening Book Group. Always Offsite. Host varies on the month. Contact Marti or Michele for additional information.
June 11, 2017 - Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Meeting at about 7:15 p.m. at Laurie's home,
"If Jesse Owens is rightfully the most famous American athlete of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, repudiating Adolf Hitler’s notion of white supremacy by winning gold in four events, the gold-medal-winning effort by the eight-man rowing team from the University of Washington remains a remarkable story. It encompasses the convergence of transcendent British boat maker George Pocock; the quiet yet deadly effective UW men’s varsity coach, Al Ulbrickson; and an unlikely gaggle of young rowers who would shine as freshmen, then grow up together, a rough-and-tumble bunch", writes Brown, "not very worldly, but earnest and used to hard work." Brown takes enough time to profile the principals in this story while using the 1936 games and Hitler’s heavy financial and political investment in them to pull the narrative along. In doing so, he offers a vivid picture of the socioeconomic landscape of 1930s America (brutal), the relentlessly demanding effort required of an Olympic-level rower, the exquisite brainpower and materials that go into making a first-rate boat, and the wiles of a coach who somehow found a way to, first, beat archrival University of California, then conquer a national field of qualifiers, and finally, defeat the best rowing teams in the world.
The group will meet July 9 at Doug & Michele's home to discuss Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance.