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The Amateurs Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Amateurs.
This section contains 323 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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The Amateurs Summary & Study Guide Description

The Amateurs Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Amateurs by David Halberstam.

Plot Summary

This is a nonfiction work of the 20th century. It is about a handful of Olympic level athletes. The author is a journalist, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work for the Americans while Americans are participating in military conflicts in Viet Nam. The book begins with an Olympic trial, which goes largely unnoticed. There is very little press. The sport is rowing. This requires high speed, high effort, and teamwork. In this sport individual performance is more intimately associated with the success of the team than is found in many other sports.

The author devotes significant time to each of four major rowing champions. He also educates people about some class-related issues while he does this. Most rowers are upper middle class. The importance of money may manifest somewhat differently amongst this group. David Halberstam gives readers a good realistic sense for this without making too much of it during the course of the book. The financial aspects of the sport of rowing are also involved. He explains how and where there actually is money in it and also shows that the rowing stars tended to do it so passionately that they engaged in it even though it did not make them money. In that regard, money is shown by rowers to be barely relevant; only to the extent that is absolutely unavoidable, does money matter.

The author introduces the rowing world to readers. For those who know the sport, it will be repetitive. For those being introduced to it by this book the information is very helpful. Halberstam has written this book for readers who have seen the Olympic rowing championships and may want to learn more about the sport as a result. The story takes readers through the 1984 Olympic Games and then gives some details about how the main players are doing the year afterward. The entire book is rather short than long, at just over 200 pages.

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This section contains 323 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Amateurs Study Guide
The Amateurs from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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