Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Summer Reading 2016 Bentley Upper School: All School Reading


Bentley's All-School

2016 Summer Read 

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

All Bentley students are expected to read this book before school begins in the fall.

"Out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington's eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world."  -- cover


Insights from the author, Daniel Brown

The author talks about writing The Boys in the Boat, and its themes, at a "Politics and Prose" event in Washington, D.C. on June 13, 2013.


Q & A with the author

"A Conversation with Daniel James Brown" reveals many interesting aspects about his journey in writing this story.

Daniel James Brown's Website

This site provides information about the author, other books he has written, a schedule of appearances including those around Puget Sound, a listing of book awards and recognition, and contact information,

Message from Upper School Head

A Look at History Being Made

Period photographs of the 1936 US Olympic eight-oar crew, scenes from around the Northwest and Seattle in the 1930s, the actual race in front of the cheering crowd and Hitler, and the jubilant "boys in the boat" after winning Gold.


Washington Rowing: the 1936 Olympic Team

Recollections in the form of narratives, photos, and recorded interviews that preserve the history of rowing at the University of Washington, as presented by parents, coaches and alumni.  Presented here is history around the 1936 team.

Nazi Propaganda and the 1936 Olympic Games

In this video we see Hitler's arrival and rousing speech at the 1936 Olympics. The French salute Hitler, but the Americans and British refused. It was thought the Games would be used for German propaganda.

Nazi Concept of the "Master Race"

This program shows how and why the Nazi concept of racial superiority developed, and how and why the German nation was organized to achieve it. Using archival footage and historical photographs, it focuses on the 1936 Olympics as grist for the German propaganda mill; organized, planned persecution as an element of government policy; political suppression and anti-Semitism; Mein Kampf as a blueprint; the Nuremberg Laws defining racial purity; Joseph Goebbels and the Big Lie; and how German youth were educated to support the goals of the Nazi state. (20 minutes)

Purchase your book here and have some of the proceeds benefit Bentley!

Rowing 101

This page of interesting Rowing Quick Facts is provided by USRowing, a nonprofit organization.  For instance, did you know physiologists claim that rowing a 2,000-meter race - equivalent to 1.25 miles - is equal to playing back-to-back basketball games?  

Bentley School Libraries

Profile Photo
Hiller Librarian
Hiller Campus Library
1 Hiller Dr.
Oakland, CA 94618
(t)510-229-4105 ext. 2405