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