Summary Of Under A Flaming Sky

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After reading, “Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 ” famous olympic gold medal rowing champion Joe Rantz contacted the author, Daniel James Brown, to discuss the central character of the book, who happened to be the champion’s childhood friend. On his deathbed, Rantz started to weakly tell Brown his life story, and Brown decided that his story could not go untold, and sat down to write “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” Although rowing has lost its popularity in modern times, in its prime, rowing was a very illustrious and competitive sport. With origins in universities in Europe, rowing soon spread to the East Coast to prominent institutions like Yale, …show more content…
Hunt, James B. McMillin, John G. White, Gordon B. Adam, Charles Day, Roger Morris and the coxswain, Robert G. Moch. All of the boys came from very different backgrounds, and their personalities majorly clashed at the start of their freshman year. Some on the team were extremely wealthy and full of themeslves, while others were terrified during tryouts because in order to stay in school they would need the scholarship money that being on the team would bring them. As the season went on, they began to bond and became a very successful unit, and even beat the junior varsity and varsity teams consistently in practices, as well as winning the big race in Poughkeepsie. They were coached by the very talented and inspiring Tom Bolles, and were surprised by the major shift in personality when they were led by the head coach, Al Ulbrickson the following year. Ulbrickson was a strict coach who pushed the rowers to their limits in order to compete with the skilled head Berkely coach Ky Ebright, and not only controlled them in the water, but also controlled their personal life: what they ate, who they hung out with, when they went to bed, and what their grades were. The author tells the story of their success through the perspectives of many different characters at different times in their life, and contains all the successes and failures the team went through to transform from a rag tag group of boys who had trouble timing their strokes, to a …show more content…
Coming from a lower class upbringing in England, Pocock had to face a tremendous amount of prejudice and adversity. In 1910 his father lost his job, so George and his brother Dick went to western Canada to look for work. After a year of unskilled and grueling work, the Pocock brothers were finally commissioned to build two sculls, the job that they loved and were destined to do, as they came from a long line of boatbuilders. Their name and reputation for quality craftsmanship began to spread quickly throughout the rowing community, and they were soon commissioned to build shells for the University of Washington. The coach at the time, Hiram Conibear, “realized that he had hired much more than a skilled boatbuilder in George Pocock. When George Pocock began to watch the Washington oarsmen on the water, he quickly spotted inefficiencies and deficiencies in the mechanics of their stroke(47).” George’s story is the epitome of the American dream: after working hard as a laborer in another land, he was able to use his savings to travel to America and become successful with an almost celebrity status in a vocation that he

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