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All Together: The Formidable Journey to the Gold with the 1964 Olympic Crew Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (February 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595343880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595343881
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Stowe learned rowing at Kent School and Cornell University prior to joining the Vesper Boat Club to train for the 1964 Olympic Games. He served as the Head Coach of Rowing at Columbia University and founded the crew at the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he coached until 1985. Having served on various rowing Boards of Directors, he has retired to the Olympic Village of Lake Placid, New York, where he hikes the Adirondacks and lives with his wife Barbara.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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All of this comes through in this thoughtful and engagingly written book.
Billy in the Lowground
The cast of characters is fascinating, with no single oarsman dominating either the crew or the story.
Michael J. Foley
A lot of kids need to read about this kind of sacrifice in an age of gross sports egos.
Ashby Turner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William N. Wallace on May 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
The magnificent sport of rowing --- America's oldest intercollegiate competition --- has a thin but distinguished library. "All Together" embellishes that shelf. And who better to tell the extraordinary story of the Vesper Boat Club crew than Bill Stowe, the premier oarsman in the stroke seat that stunning year of 1964? This is a people book, for readers who may not know an oar from an orange. The eight oarsmen, and the 43-year-old refugee coxswain from Hungary, were certainly a disparate group. Stowe tells how they assembled, how they argued, how they were directed, and how they came to win sport's foremost crown. And how they survived life thereafter.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ashby Turner on February 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a kid I read the biography of Olympic legend Bob Mathias and it led me to set up a decathlon field in my back yard in Vermont, with a wagon wheel for my discus. All Together by author/oarsman Bill Stowe will touch some readers with the same kind of identification. I have no doubt that as a result of this book kids in the hinterlands will start googling to find out where they might participate in competitive rowing. But the book will reach primarily an adult readership, both those who have some experience of rowing and those who just like a good yarn where work and sacrifice result in victory.

Author Stowe tells this story, which leads up to the victory of his crew (he was stroke, the leading oar) at the 1964 Olympics in Japan with simplicity, humor and a keen eye for detail. It's the detail that makes it sweet because it lets you go along for the ride (or row, actually.) Excitement builds towards the Olymics, but he never tries to force it. He lets the characters move the story along. And when his crew wins the gold, you care as a reader because by now you really know the guys and you know what they sacrificed to accomplish this great thing.

I say this without reservation: The Chapter called the Gold Medal Race, which comes nearly at the end of the book, is a goose-bump producing account of regular men doing a special thing: winning Olympic Gold. I've never read a more exciting or insightful account of a sporting event.

There might not be a story here without the Olympics, or if so, a much different story. But Stowe also includes a great account of a rich life in rowing, from prep days to college and the historic Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia, one of whose members, himself an enthusiastic oarsman, was the late Jack Kelly, brother of Princess Grace.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Joe Burk on April 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a great example of how a sport can bring people of highly diverse backgrounds into one united group, solely to accomplish the rewards of victory. Rowing, not only builds character and muscles, but tolerance and an ability to accept the diverse lives of your squad.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Foley on June 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've read all the rowing books in the past 25 years, and Stowe's is the best. "All Together" is aptly titled. The cast of characters is fascinating, with no single oarsman dominating either the crew or the story.

The straighforward approach to the story, sparing the reader the silly semi-mystical fluff of other recent Olympic tales, is welcome.

The Vesper/USA eight won the gold medal in Tokyo, of course. I knew that before I started, but somehow, there's still an element of suspense in the last chapters. I read it through at one sitting, and I would have liked it to be longer.

Remarkable effort for a first book; I hope Stowe keeps writing.

Mike Foley

P.S. If you rowed at Penn, the Ted Nash anecdotes are priceless.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Billy in the Lowground on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
The first reviewer here--Joe Burk--(Penn's late Joe Burk?) identifies what makes the title so apt, and what Stowe brings out so well, mixing his own observations with the perspectives of his crewmates: this boat won and won, regardless of the considerable differences in personality and background of its individual rowers. There's a potential in learning to do that that many Americans could use to recall today. I started rowing on the Schuylkill two years after Stowe's eight won the gold in Tokyo, a time when most of the oarsmen in that boat were still rowing out of Vesper, and were the acknowledged heroes of Boathouse Row. Our cox knew some of them (including Stowe and Zimonyi), and it was pretty cool to watch a four filled with some of those guys row by, or, say, returning from a run along the Drive, have the likes of Boyce Budd, passing the other way, nod and say "Hey." It all made for a palpable sense of something larger and lots older than oneself, and made it clear that gold medal winners have a love for their sport that doesn't end when they reach that pinnacle. All of this comes through in this thoughtful and engagingly written book. There's humor, too, as in the overall affectionate but sometimes exasperated recounting of the "notorious" Amlong brothers. Stowe's retellings--in his own and his crewmates' words--of the boat's wins at the U.S. olympic trials (over Harvard) and over the Germans (Ratzeburg) at Tokyo are gripping stuff. A great read.
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