Triumph Over Adversity: The Inspiring Journey of ‘The Boys in the Boat’

Dec 23, 2023 | aging, books, culture, Health, politics, seniors, technology

The Not Old Better Show, Movie Review and Interview Series: Author of the book ‘The Boys in the Boat,’ Daniel James Brown, and star of the film Callum Turner

Welcome to today’s book and film review episode of The Not Old Better Show, the destination for stories that not only captivate but also enlighten us, especially as we navigate the rewarding journey of our later years. I’m Paul Vogelzang and in this episode, we’re delving into a tale that transcends the realm of sports, embodying the essence of human tenacity: “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown.

We will be speaking with Daniel James Brown in just a bit, but first, a little catch-up, as the book is a few years old and the film version arrives this Christmas. This riveting book unfolds the true story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their remarkable pursuit of gold at the tumultuous Berlin Olympics. However, this is more than just a tale of athletic success; it is a profound exploration of a time when the Great Depression and the rise of Nazi Germany loomed large. It eloquently juxtaposes the personal, gritty struggles of a group of young men with the broader political and social turmoil of their times, creating a narrative tapestry that is as historically significant as it is emotionally impactful.

As we journey through this episode, we’ll delve into the depths of their personal battles, the unyielding spirit of teamwork, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. This story reaches beyond the enthusiasts of sports, touching the hearts of all who hear it. It speaks to us, the generation who understands the essence of perseverance and the importance of standing together in the face of adversity.

So, let’s settle in and embark on this inspiring journey, a testament to the human spirit’s boundless potential. This story is a reminder that no matter the odds, with unity and determination, triumph is within our grasp.

I hope that this story, movie, and my review will inspire you to reflect on your own journeys and the power of persistence. This story could serve as a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to pursue one’s dreams, regardless of the obstacles in the way.

As many of you are aware after reading this bestseller, Boys in the Boat book, but Daniel James Brown. In 1936 nine working-class American boys burst from their small towns into the international limelight, unexpectedly wiping the smile off Adolph Hitler’s face by beating his vaunted German team to capture the Olympic gold medal.  Daniel James Brown has written a robust, emotional snapshot of an era, a book you will recommend to your best friends.

This book, this story, as well as the film are riveting; it not only recount a historical triumph but also reignite the fire of inspiration within us. Daniel James Brown’s masterpiece, a non-fiction narrative, does just that. It’s not merely about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin or the remarkable victory of a University of Washington crew team; it’s a testament to the power of perseverance and unity.

As you’ll hear Daniel James Brown’s vivid portrayal of this era in just a few moments, we’ll encounter the eight rowers and a coxswain, each with a unique story, all united by a single goal. Their story is set against a backdrop of a world on the brink of change – from the shores of Seattle to the tension-laden atmosphere of Nazi Germany. 

It’s a story that resonates with all of us, especially as we reflect on our journeys and the hurdles we’ve overcome.

Moreover, Brown’s work offers us more than just a story. It’s an exploration into the human spirit, a reminder that, regardless of age, the pursuit of excellence and the joy of achievement are always within our grasp. The comparison to Laura Hillenbrand’s ‘Seabiscuit: An American Legend’ is apt – both stories are about underdogs, determination, and triumph against the odds.


This story, the book, and now the film are not just a small thing; it’s an experience. It’s an opportunity to delve into a pivotal moment in history, to understand the intricacies of a sport like crew, which, much like life itself, requires strategy, teamwork, and a harmonious rhythm of many, working as one.

So, I invite you to immerse yourself in Daniel James Brown’s ‘The Boys in the Boat’. It’s more than a story about a crew team; it’s about the resilience and the collective spirit that defines us all, especially as we navigate the later chapters of our lives.

Go see ‘Boys in the Boat,’ in theaters on Christmas Day!