- Jun 11, 2012
Many years ago I worked for the Dean of Men at UC Berkeley. He had been the crew coach at CAL for quite a few years prior to taking the Dean's job. I knew nothing about the sport of rowing but gathered a little bit of information probably through osmosis. This book is about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and the University of Washington Rowing Team that represented the US in the Games. I will admit that a lot of the more technical rowing passages kind of didn't hold my interest, but what DID hold my interest was the lengthy discussions about the history of the times, Hitler, the preparation for the Games, and the blatant but successful subterfuge that Germany carried out on the rest of the world. Berlin was fluffed and puffed and cleaned and sanitized and there was no mention of the persecution of Jewish people to the outside world. Hitler was trying to portray Naziism as a wonderful thing by "showing off" Berlin. In an age where news media was very poor, obviously the internet wasn't around, he pulled it off. It wasn't until after the Games that the whole horrific story came out. I have a college degree, I have a graduate degree, I have had many history classes through my education years, and I had never heard or read about this. This is a very good book. I haven't recommended this to anyone that didn't enjoy the book and learn something.