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Men of Kent: Ten Boys, A Fast Boat, and the Coach Who Made Them Champions Paperback – Bargain Price, September 14, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Rick Rinehart’s recounting of his experiences on his still-renowned American schoolboy crew, culminating at the Henley Royal Regatta in England, is triumphant on every level. It is a touching and candid coming-of-age story, a sports saga that will have you whistling the theme from Chariots of Fire, and a powerful memory trigger that will have you nostalgically flipping through your own photo albums and scrapbooks.”

—Terry Frei, Denver Post, author of Third Down and a War to Go: The All American 1942 Wisconsin Badgers and Playing Piano in a Brothel: A Sports Journalist's Odyssey

 

“Crew is a sport of power and precision, combined with elegance and grace. Rick Rinehart offers us a fascinating view of the communal world of rowing, from the teamwork inherent in success to the support system that made Kent’s story so memorable. He doesn’t miss a stroke.”

—Barry Wilner, veteran AP sports writer and co-author of Miracles, Shockers and Longshots: The Greatest Sports Upsets of All Time

 

“...extraordinary...a story that is well worth reading.”
—Alan Caruba, Bookviews

 

“'Men of Kent' is the kind of sports saga where you hum your own inspirational score as you read toward the climax.  Think 'Chariots of Fire' with oars, set in a Connecticut boarding school.”
—Ron Dicker, Hartford Courant

 

“In an age of the second rate, the low rent and the unimpressive; of pornography, video games, text messaging and other irrelevancies of the human spirit, comes a beautiful, graceful book, Men of Kent by Rick Rinehart.... It is a coming of age, patriotic, spiritual story of innocence and joy, of boys who became not just men, but gentlemen, and I loved it.”

—Steven Travers, Red Room blogger and author of One Night, Two Teams: Alabama vs. USC and the Game that Changed a Nation

 

“Rinehart has a way of telling a sports story that makes even the least interested person fall in love with his tale. His true-life story would inspire anyone to succeed. It shows that with a little hard work, dreams can be achieved.”

—VOYA

From the Back Cover


A modern-day Chariots of Fire and the true story of one of the greatest schoolboy crews ever

Men of Kent traces the fate of ten ordinary boys and their coach from Kent, Connecticut, who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances during the spring and summer of 1972. That year the Kent School’s crew, of which the author was a part, was undefeated against 46 other crews, broke three course records, and claimed a national championship. Its final race, at the fabled Henley Royal Regatta in England—a race broadcast on television worldwide—merited a banner headline in the New York Times sports section, and is regarded as one of the most breathtaking finishes in Henley’s long history.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599219328
  • ASIN: B0058M6PBS
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,917,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Rinehart is a publisher and author of three books. A former Colorado Humanities Scholar, he is also chair of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation's awards program for talented, emerging authors. He is member of The Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames, England--the oldest, largest, and most successful rowing club in the world, having won more Olympic and World championship gold medals than any other club--and is a contributor to the websites American Thinker, Icecap, and Denver Examiner. He lives in Lafayette, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Everyone who rowed at Kent must read this book.
C. P. Whitin
Rick Rinehart perfectly captures the tradition and camaraderie of a schoolboy crew in this poignant memoir of one of the best prep school crews that ever rowed.
DC Churbuck
His story is all the more compelling because the writing is understated and self-effacing.
susan mceachern

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. P. Whitin on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read through the Men of Kent over the New Year weekend. It was an irresistible read. Having coxed at Kent for five years, and in England and at Princeton, many of the stories had direct parallels in my own experience. Hart Perry was my revered coach, and many of the same oarsmen rowing in Rick Rinehart's shell had brothers with whom I also rowed, some were even parents who had rowed in Kent's first Thames Cup winner in 1933. Rinehart does an excellent job in weaving the personalities and the inevitable competitive tensions of his crew on and off the water, all the while depicting the importance of rowing to Kent School over the 20th century, all the while creating his autobiography. He puts his 1972 miracle season into its context in a way that brought me back to my own experience as though it were a template. As recently as 2010, Kent came one race (a loss to Eton at the HRR) from repeating its perfect season. These memories remain clear as though they were yesterday. Everyone who rowed at Kent must read this book. Anyone who loved rowing at a New England boarding school will relate to it, perhaps with envy. Any schoolboy or girl currently involved with the sport should read it for inspiration. And if you happen to row at college, especially those in the northeast, you may gain some insight into the handful of your crewmates who have emerged from high school rowing and now sit next to you. Kent has grandly overachieved in its influence upon the rowing world on both sides of the Atlantic. Rinehart touches upon this in "Men of Kent," but there is more to tell. Thanks for taking me back, and for the reminder. Great job, Rick!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DC Churbuck on October 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Rinehart perfectly captures the tradition and camaraderie of a schoolboy crew in this poignant memoir of one of the best prep school crews that ever rowed. The tradition of rowing at the Kent School, the focus of legendary coach Hart Perry, and the brief season of perfection in one undefeated spring from Connecticut's Housatonic to England's Thames River combine to make this one of the better books in any rower's collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kaye D. on November 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Rinehart's Men of Kent is a fine, beautiful book. The author's contagious yet gentle affection for his subject makes the book read like a tale told by a slightly eccentric and beloved uncle. Rinehart weaves history, lore, and personal experience together in a way that charms you with an exhilarating and triumphant journey without ever letting you forget that the stories in Men of Kent are real. With its rich undercurrent of the timeless clash between tradition and change, the book's portrayal of one group's modern pursuit of excellence through a near-ancient medium will resonate with anyone who has ever paused to consider what values should endure, which signposts are worth preserving. Rinehart, and his fellow men of Kent, are to be congratulated. Jonathan Dyer
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By susan mceachern on October 14, 2010
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Rick Rinehart does a wonderful job of weaving the stories of his school, his family, his teammates, and his own coming of age into a seamless narrative. His story is all the more compelling because the writing is understated and self-effacing. The lack of bombast and hyperbole--especially given his and his team's remarkable accomplishments--make the book even more powerful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Silverstein on December 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Along with the book's main theme - the undefeated season enjoyed by a group of young rowers from the Kent School, Rick Rinehart writes a wonderful story about the history of the sport of rowing, the Kent School, and his own family. As a former college rower I have a nautural interest in the subject of rowing but Mr.Rinehart's analysis of the Kent School's founding and history along with his own family's interesting background made this book a very enjoyable read. The book has a touching and down to earth tone that makes the reader care about the sunjects and evokes an earlier time that is familiar to a reader like me who grew up in the 1970's. I think readers of almost any age, though, will enjoy this book, rower or not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Herbie J Pilato on August 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Written with elegance and grace, MEN OF KENT introduces the mainstream reader to a very unique world. And yet in doing so, allows all to realize just how similar each of us are in so many ways. And how each of us, at our core (physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually) must ever strive to be the best we can be...for ourselves...each other...and humanity. FIVE STARS to an inspirationally work that invites everyone to shine brightly their light!
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Format: Paperback
I’m absolutely a sucker for any tale in the Chariots of Fire, Rocky, overcome-all-odds-to-achieve-glory genre. Rick Rinehart’s tale fits this mold. And for our family, involved through our son’s high school rowing, there are connections aplenty with the story. We loved reading about the hockey player from suburban Boston who reluctantly takes up crew as his spring sport at Kent School. Pulling an oar, he continues to don his tasseled, red Canadian toque earned at a hockey tournament. In the final pages, before the culminating race at the Henley Final, the Kent headmaster reaches down to this surprised young oarsman in the boat, hand extended. “Mr. Rooney, today you’ll put Cochituate, Massachusetts on the map.” Our hometown! Where our team rows! A local boy won the Royal Henley Regatta! Astonishing!

Rinehart captures the essence of a New England prep school education, rooted in salt-of-the-earth Calvinistic spirituality. He paints the picture of a polyglot of wealthy scions and hard-scrabble youngsters come together under the aegis of one religious educator, Father Frederick Herbert Sill, founder of Kent School. Grace, nobility, sportsmanship, humility, all these ethics are taught and learned at Kent. If there is any fault with the Rinehart history, it is that too much of the novel is devoted to building up Kent School, a bit too much personal family history, and not nearly enough about the interesting duels and match-ups on the river. Published three years before The Boys In The Boat, Rinehart’s story draws a marginally less favorable comparison. Nonetheless, for anyone connected to rowing, for anyone in New England, and certainly for Prep Schoolers anywhere, THE MEN OF KENT will be a fast and fascinating read.
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