The Amateurs

The Amateurs

David Halberstam / May 20, 2019

The Amateurs In The Amateurs David Halberstam once again displays the unique brand of reportage both penetrating and supple that distinguished his bestselling The Best and the Brightest and October This ti

  • Title: The Amateurs
  • Author: David Halberstam
  • ISBN: 9780449910030
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Paperback
  • In The Amateurs, David Halberstam once again displays the unique brand of reportage, both penetrating and supple, that distinguished his bestselling The Best and the Brightest and October 1964 This time he has taken for his subject the dramatic and special world of amateur rowing While other athletes are earning fortunes in salaries and or endorsements, the oarsmen gainIn The Amateurs, David Halberstam once again displays the unique brand of reportage, both penetrating and supple, that distinguished his bestselling The Best and the Brightest and October 1964 This time he has taken for his subject the dramatic and special world of amateur rowing While other athletes are earning fortunes in salaries and or endorsements, the oarsmen gain fame only with each other and strive without any hope of financial reward.What drives these men to endure a physical pain known to no other sport Who are they Where do they come from How do they regard themselves and their competitors What have they sacrificed, and what inner demons have they appeased In answering these questions, David Halberstam takes as his focus the 1984 single sculls trials in Princeton The man who wins will gain the right to represent the United States in the 84 Olympiad the losers will then have to struggle further to gain a place in the two or four man boats And even if they succeed, they will have to live with the bitter knowledge that they were not the best, only close to it.Informative and compelling, The Amateurs combines the vividness of superb sportswriting with the narrative skills of a Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent.

    The Amateurs Andy Sargentee is a decent guy and the town s favorite failure an unemployable dreamer whose ex s husband s wealth intimidates Andy to such an extent he does little with his teen son Andy s new idea is for Butterface Fields to be the first town to band together to make the first full length feature amateur The Amateurs The Amateurs, by Sara Shepard The Amateurs has , ratings and reviews Emma said Edit I am dropping my rating to stars I still feel the same about my enjoyment of the Sara Shepard The Amateurs The Amateurs From New York Times best selling author Sara Shepard comes a thrilling new mystery series perfect for fans of Serial and Pretty Little Liars Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. The Amateurs The Amateurs, originally called The Moguls, is a comedy film written and directed by Michael Traeger and starring Jeff Bridges The story revolves around six friends in a small town in the US who decide to make a full length amateur adult film. The Amateur Edward Klein Books The Amateur is a reporter s book, buttressed by nearly interviews, many of them with the insiders who know Obama best The result is the most important political book of the year The result is the most important political book of the year. The Amateurs by David Halberstam The Amateurs has , ratings and reviews Michael said This is a bit outside my usual reading, but back in another life, when I was a collegiate ro The Amateurs The Moguls Dirty Movie Rotten The Amateurs is a terrific comedy about a man who seeks to make a quick by making a porno and enlists his buddies They set out to make an amateur porn film. The Amateurs Vineyard Theatre The Amateurs Quotes CRITICS PICK THE AMATEURS IS HILARIOUS AND MOVING Thrilling, expansive, world changing The cast is a collection of Off Broadway treasures A terrific, gutsy new comedy Jesse Green, The New York Times The Amateur I found The Amateur to be thoroughly entertaining for the very reason some viewers may not like it This is not a slick, gadget laden action flick The hero is a very human, run of the mill intelligence analyst not a super spy whose determined to avenge the death of his love interest by terrorists. Amateur Definition of Amateur by Merriam Webster amateur, dilettante, dabbler, tyro mean a person who follows a pursuit without attaining proficiency or professional status amateur often applies to one practicing an art without mastery of its essentials a painting obviously done by an amateur in sports it may also suggest not so much lack of skill but avoidance of direct remuneration.

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    About "David Halberstam"

      • David Halberstam

        David Halberstam April 10, 1934 April 23, 2007 was an American Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author known for his early work on the Vietnam War and his later sports journalism.Halberstam graduated from Harvard University with a degree in journalism in 1955 and started his career writing for the Daily Times Leader in West Point, Mississippi In the late 1950s and early 1960s, writing for The Tennessean in Nashville, Tennessee, he covered the beginnings of the American Civil Rights Movement.In the mid 1960s, Halberstam covered the Vietnam War for The New York Times While there, he gathered material for his book The Making of a Quagmire America and Vietnam during the Kennedy Era In 1963, he received a George Polk Award for his reporting at the New York Times At the age of 30, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the war He is interviewed in the 1968 documentary film on the Vietnam War entitled In the Year of the Pig.Halberstam put an enormous effort into his book about Kennedy s foreign policy decisions about the Vietnam War, The Best and the Brightest Synthesizing material from dozens of books and many dozens of interviews, Halberstam focused on the odd paradox that those who crafted the U.S war effort in Vietnam were some of the most intelligent, well connected and self confident men in America the best and the brightest and yet those same men were unable to imagine and promote any but a bloody and disastrous course in the Vietnam War.Thousands of readers began The Best and the Brightest feeling that the U.S must pursue the war in Vietnam until victory was achieved, but became convinced by Halberstam s book that the U.S could not win and therefore should withdraw from Vietnam.After publication of The Best and the Brightest in 1972, Halberstam plunged right into another big book and in 1979 published an informative book about some of the major media outlets in America The Powers That Be gave compelling profiles of men like William Paley of CBS, Henry Luce of Time magazine, Phil Graham of The Washington Post and many others.Later in his career, Halberstam turned to the subjects of sports, publishing The Breaks of the Game, an inside look at the Bill Walton and the 1978 Portland Trailblazers basketball team an ambitious book on Michael Jordan in 1999 called Playing for Keeps and on the pennant race battle between the Yankees and Red Sox called Summer of 49.After publishing two books in the 1960s, Halberstam published three books in the 1970s, four books in the 1980s, and six books in the 1990s He published four books in the 2000s and was on a pace to publish six or books in that decade before his death In the wake of 9 11, Halberstam wrote perhaps the most sensitive and insightful book about that tragedy, detailing Engine 40, Ladder 35, in the tome, Firehouse.In 1980, an escaped convict from New York, Bernard C Welch, Jr murdered Halberstam s brother, Michael J Halberstam, a Washington, D.C cardiologist 1 Halberstam refused to comment publicly about this incident.


    128 Comments

    1. This is a bit outside my usual reading, but back in another life, when I was a collegiate rower and perpetually sore, tired, beleaguered, and intensely happy, this was the book we'd pass among ourselves and pore over with the same monkish devotion we had to our sport. It was the closest thing we had to an answer to the question "why" that we'd often ask ourselves at 5 am, in those hushed pre-dawn hours when we'd sit and sway in a rickety bus on our way to the most physically punishing workout an [...]


    2. I'm not much for long reviews but I was a little disappointed in this, maybe because I had recently read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, which I found to be a much more interesting and detailed look at the sport and the back stories of the rowers. Perhaps I'm being overly harsh on this because I'm comparing The Amateurs to that. Both are great looks at a sport which I think I would have loved had I gotten into when I was young.


    3. A very interesting and reveting narrative. As you might know from my 'about me' section of my profile, I really enjoy rowing and find it the ultimate test of my body and mind. This story depicted exactly what rowing is like for me. Written in 1985 by David Halberstam, The Amateurs tells the story of four young men, all vying for the coveted '84 Olympic team and ultimately the Olympic gold medal. In telling this story, Halberstam takes as his focus the 1984 single sculls trials in Princeton. The [...]


    4. An interesting accounts of the 1984 American men’s rowing team. Also some great insights about what it takes to be an Olympian.


    5. After reading David Halberstam's "The Amateurs" I am convinced that the man could have written a book on bird watching and would have made it interesting.Halberstam is one of my favorite authors of all time, having written classics such as "Summer of 49", "Teammates", "War in a Time of Peace", "The Coldest Winter" and "Playing for Keeps." So when I saw Halberstam's "The Amateurs" for a book at Green Apple, I picked it up without a second thought--even though the book was on rowing. In this book, [...]


    6. Like so many, I read this book shortly after having read Boys in the Boat. It is the "other-side-of-the-coin" book to the romantic depiction of rowing described in BITB. Gone is the drama (in the 1930s, stories of rowers made the front pages of newspapers all over the world, and people cared about the sport by contrast in the 1980s, rowing has become a little-known amateur sport barely hitting the radar of any sports enthusiast in this country), the camaraderie (these are the loners the scullers [...]


    7. "he told himself that the important thing was to deal with his disappointment as a man, to be graceful and generous. That was what rowing was all about. It demands so much in preparation that even if he fell short of his goals, he was not diminishes as a person"There's not a better quote to summarize this great story of four men and their quest for an Olympic Medal. This book is not solely about rowing (although it does a good job explaining its basics), it is about the struggles and sacrifices [...]


    8. A rower is a rower for lifeI really couldn't put this down. It is so well written as you grow to know these men, rowers and relate them back to yourself. My life experience as a rower was eerily similar and I found myself nodding and laughing out loud throughout, even though I never reached such heights. This level of commitment to things so internally driven at such high cost, has been something that I've always struggled to explain to others and that the world largely fails to understand. This [...]


    9. I got this book because I loved Boys in the Boat so much, but I found this book really paled in comparison in terms of storytelling and general writerly ability. The pacing was good but the flipping around in timelines was unclear, and I didn't really learn as much about each rower as I wanted to and as I felt the author wanted me to. The whole time I read this book (which is a quick read), I kept thinking, "I really want to reread Boys in the Boat!"


    10. I think rowers are nuts. I personally am not a rower but my son is. He once rowed 26.2 miles on an erg nonstop. And all for what? Because a group on his team challenged themselves to. There was no money it in, no awards, just the simple satisfaction of having completed something crazy hard. Kudos to those who train day after day yet their accomplishments typically are unheralded.


    11. okay, i'm going to divide the book into three parts, but first, here's what i had, going into this book: the dad of the family i nanny for (let's call him dad 1) went to yale for undergrad and harvard business school after that. he's about ten years older than (or ahead of) most of the characters in this book. he has a friend in town (dad 2), the father of his sons' former classmate, and he (dad 1) has said that this guy (dad 2) is the only guy in town he can "intellectually relate to," or "the [...]


    12. A captivating story about a small tribe of obsessive competitors. Halberstam (of journalistic fame with chops for hard hitting reporting on the Vietnam war) writes what seems to be a passion piece on this weird little tribe of mostly east coast ivy league graduates in whom a rare overlap of genetic blessings (mad VO2 max's), unmatched drive and competitive spirit, and a cultish purist ethic.The striking thing about these world class rowers is that 1 - they are so dedicated to a sport that causes [...]


    13. A strange book in some ways. Halberstam writes brilliantly about a non-event; America's rowing in the 1984 Olympics, which the Eastern block boycotted. He seems intent on focusing on the effort to get to the Olympics and the sacrifices that the sport, which can easily be viewed as elitist, demands of its participants.


    14. Though I read this fresh off of Olympic fever, this story would be a solid read anytime. Halberstam frames a story about pure amateur sport and what drives people to seek physical dominance without the lure of monetary gain around the 1984 US Olympic rowing team. Rowing was an exceptional choice, as I doubt any of us can name any truly great rowers, proving just how little fame was to be gained in pursuing the sport. How many Nike athletes or Wheaties box cover stars ever sculled? Nobody's think [...]


    15. This book gave an interesting look into the motivations of Olympians who compete in a sport that does not lead to money and fame. The world of rowers sounds very insular, but Halberstam made it possible to look inside of their minds. The taciturn nature of rowers became evident to me when I asked a friend of the family about his experiences, and he wouldn't say much about them, even at the lower level at which he rowed.Returning to the book, what came through was the level of commitment the rowe [...]


    16. I finished the book within 2 evenings. It is such an extraordinary book that illustrates what rowing really is. When you row the feeling of pain is so overwhelming that it is even beyond the name of pain is given. In the book, it says:"During their college years the oarsmen put in terribly long hours, often showing up at the boathouse at 6:00am for preclass practices. Both physically and psychologically, they were separated from their classmates. Events that seemed earth-shattering to them-for e [...]


    17. For several years, I spent two to three hours a week on an indoor rowing machine, so this book about the formation of the 1984 U.S. men’s sculling team piqued my interest.The jacket blurb on my paperback copy says that “The focus of David Halberstam’s fierce and penetrating account is the 1984 Olympic single-scull trials.” Thankfully, that’s inaccurate. The trials occur just over half-way through the narrative, which follows the story all the way through to the Olympics themselves.Havi [...]


    18. Very good, quick read. If you have friends or family involved in rowing this book gives a great perspective on the quest to be the best and the sacrifices required to get there.


    19. Quite the insider look at (mostly) Ivy Leaguer scholar/athletes pushing themselves beyond belief to get onto Olympic rowing teams. It is not a world with which I have any familiarity, so it was at times (jarringly) eye-opening (eg the moment when one of them ponders whether he should marry a woman who is also athletic and gorgeous and brilliant so they can combine their gene pools). Also some good background stories about families and what it took to get where they got.But in the end I didn't fe [...]


    20. Halberstam is certainly an accomplished journalist. I just re-read this book after some twenty five years. Very well written and it deals with all elements that come with practicing this wonderful sport, the doubts about technique, the constant quest for improvement, the ambition, jealousness, clash of characters, managing expectations. It just all comes together in the beautifully written book. The chapters are written in such a way that the end of each chapter holds a cliff hanger, wanting you [...]


    21. The sports of rowing - which historically is absent from the media coverage, gets a center stage in this masterpiece. The story is about a group of rowers with different backgrounds, geographical locations, culture and style, united by same goal of getting into the USA team for 1984 Olympics. Book essentially covers all the aspects right from the family background to the contemporary reasons for each rower to be where they are presently. A fresh perspective away from the big money sports. The cl [...]


    22. I really enjoyed this book; read it straight through without putting it down. I was surprised that a friend (and a rower, nonetheless), wasn't as excited about this book as I was. Then I realized that I identified with the characters in this book, and their relentless (probably skewed and misguided) pursuit of an athletic goal. Since we usually like to read things that reflect our points of view, I think it's clear why I liked this so much. Still, Halberstam's sportswriting, as always, is limpid [...]


    23. The book doesn't flow well and Halberstam's sentences are sometimes poorly constructed. However, the content was intriguing. I enjoyed reading about the history of the different scullers that vied to compete in the 1984 Olympics. These men put everything on the line, love, careers, families, to train at camp and then compete in a race that would deal their fate in the history books forever. In spite of the poor writing, it's definitely worth the read, especially if you have a soft spot in your h [...]


    24. David Halberstam at his lucid best. The present day true amateur athletes, those without financial support from either sponsors, national organizations, or endorsements, rarely exist. David takes us back a few decades to a sport, crew, where only "amateurs" resided. He recounts the rowers' challenge of training and providing existential finances for themselves. They trained for love of sport, competitive desire, and the goal of winning. A wonderful study of athletic psyche' in a sport of true am [...]


    25. Oh my. This is the longest short book I have ever read. How is it possible to make the story of world class athletes competing for placement on an Olympic racing team so mind numbingly boring?? By the time the author finally wound his meandering way to the olympics, I truly didn't care who ended up on the team and who won. I didn't care what happened to them after the race. I hope I never have to hear another word about the rowers, their families or their coaches. Skip this one and read the labe [...]


    26. You may wonder why an author of Halberstam's caliber would take the time to knock off a couple hundred pages about a handful of rowers hoping to qualify for the 1984 Olympics, especially since he wrote this about 30 years before "The Boys in the Boat" raised awareness of the sport. After reading a few pages I stopped wondering and just enjoyed the reading. It is a terrific story, hard to put down.


    27. I preferred Brad Lewis's autobio "Assault on Lake Casitas" due to its writing style and deeply personal voice. But in terms of showing a less biased view of events, this is a good book. The raw politics among the young men of the 1984 U.S. Men's Olympic sculling team makes for interesting reading, and The Amateurs provides an even treatment of each athlete and his background, although I didn't feel quite immersed in the story or inspired as I have been by other books on competitive rowing.


    28. Great book. As a collegite runner, I readily identified with competing in a lonely sport with no hope for financial gain. Halberstam is amazing at accurately capturing the inner motivations of the atheletes. His writing style is dry, but somehow you really care about each of the athletes and how they fair. I kept reading, page after page, to find out how they did. I could care less about rowing, but highly recommend this book.


    29. Yet another excellent book about rowing. The tight prose is expressive and captures quite powerfully the diversity of the personalities, abilities, pettiness, psychology, emotion, and power that each oarsman brings to a boat. I found Halberstam's concise description of the sport to be illuminating, especially where he points out how difficult and nearly impossible it is to compare the feats of rowers over the years.


    30. An insightful look into the world of rowing, with a particular focus on the strange obsession that seems to come over rowers of all levels of expertise. I rowed in high school and my first reaction every time I see a body of water is still, "Would that make for good rowing?" Not as exciting as Brad Alan Lewis' "Assault on Lake Casitas" as far as narratives about the 1984 Olympics go, but a good read nonetheless.


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