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Reactions from Proud Owners of The Sport of Rowing


"Peter Mallory's majestic The Sport of Rowing is hands down the definitive history of the sport. The product of exquisite scholarship, it is chock full of colorful anecdotes and fascinating facts. I have no doubt that 100 years from now serious students of the sport will still be reading it with relish." - Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat

“Magnificent!” - Jürgen Grobler, Great Britain Men’s Olympic Coach

“Peter, I have learned so much from what you have written. Your work humbles me.” - Mike Spracklen, Canada Men’s Olympic Coach

“Peter Mallory’s The Sport of Rowing encompasses the genesis of our great sport. The four volumes are extensive, comprehensive, historical and still contemporary. I thoroughly enjoyed the common theme of the pursuit of excellence and knowledge of rowing from different continents, countries and eras. Whichever era, the athletes and coaches come from their outstanding personal qualities and drive brought a real insight as too why our sport is such a great one today. Peter and The River & Rowing Museum’s legacy to the sport of rowing is here for you to see in these volumes.” - Paul Thompson, Great Britain Women’s Olympic Coach

“At heart, The Sport of Rowing is an instructional manual on how to row effectively. It is extraordinarily rich in its development by example and contains the wonderful and true voices of the very people who defined the stroke and the sport. I have really enjoyed every aspect of your great book, Peter, except for toting it around.” - Bill Tytus, Pocock Racing Shells

“For a thorough understanding of rowing, for the what, the how and the why, the books making up Peter Mallory’s The Sport of Rowing certainly do it all.” - Anita DeFrantz, 1976 U.S. Olympic Bronze Medal Women’s Eight, President of the LA84 Foundation, Vice-President of FISA and member of the USOC and International Olympic Committee

“Peter Mallory has won Olympic Gold with his four-volume history of our sport. It is a bastion of thoroughness and detail and will forever be the literary fortress of rowing for the past 150 years. This never-to-be-replicated monument of the ultimate of team sports is cherished by oarsmen and all who love the sport.” - Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., 1956 Yale Olympic Champion Men’s Eight

“Peter’s passion and exhaustive research has resulted in a Homeric work that will stand as the definitive reference for our sport for decades to come. A commendable and irreplaceable masterpiece.” - Al Shealy, legendary Harvard stroke and 1974 World Champion

“ . . . a herculean effort! So well done!” - Allen Rosenberg, U.S. World and Olympic Champion Coach

“I remember very well our discussions of rowing technique in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. To a large extent it informs the technical work I do today. Who knew at the time that you would engage in such a comprehensive project as The Sport of Rowing? Congratulations. It is brilliantly done.” - Steve Gladstone, Eleven-Time IRA Champion Coach

“What wonders we all have been a part of! I’m a coach who is all about being proud of our teams, complete planning and respecting our deep history, and that history depends upon the preservation of what we all have tried to do. There never has been such an effort to preserve our history before. Peter deserves a medal.

“This may be your last opportunity to own an historic and colorful work that you can pass on to your children and grandchildren to read for years to come.” - Ted Nash, 1960 U.S. Olympic Champion Men’s Coxless-Four, participant on eleven Olympic Teams

"Peter Mallory has accomplished an extraordinary thing in writing The Sport of Rowing. This four-volume work seals his fame forever as the Edward Gibbon of rowing. While meticulously researched and accurate to a fault, it is often quite lyrical. The prose is concise but elegant, and he has a true talent for telling a story. The pictures and illustrations alone are worth the price of the books. This monumental work truly deserves both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize." - John Lehman, Vesper Boat Club, former Secretary of the Navy

“Peter Mallory has researched and compiled a seminal work on our sport. The Sport of Rowing offers endless entertainment and information. I have never seen anything like this set of books. You find a new story of the legends in our sport on every page. Future generations will enjoy this for years to come. It is extremely well researched and a great read. I recommend it to all supporters of our sport.” - Al Morrow, Canada Women’s Olympic Coach

“Whenever I need to learn something about some of the great crews and rowers of the past, I turn to The Sport of Rowing. Mallory’s research, his analysis of photographs and videos, and the quality of his interviews are all first rate. His thoughtful analysis of the rowing stroke and the two competing styles of Kernschlag and Schubschlag have led me to some insights that have been important in my own coaching and to understanding what I see in other crews. If you are interested in the history of rowing, these are the books to own.” - Andy Anderson, World Champion Coach and Dr. Rowing of Rowing News

“Very impressive.” - Harry Parker, Harvard University Men’s Coach for 51 years

"I have not ‘made it through’ all four volumes of Peter’s history of rowing. However the set is placed in my living room where I can easily see it. Frequently I glance over to their corner and my first reaction thus far has always been the same . . . ‘Cool, that’s all the modern history right there’ or ‘Thank goodness someone has put this in writing, all of it.' Perhaps because I’m older I find that comforting. It’s an incredible body of work and research and will be an enduring document for future generations of rowers. Thanks so much, Peter!" - Carie Graves, stroke of the 1975 Red Rose Crew, 1984 Olympic Champion Women's Eight

“Peter, you should feel very proud to have recorded for the first time and in such a professional and personal manner the memories and experiences of so many elite competitors in the rowing world. From day one you developed a special bond with these proud athletes and coaches. You won their trust and respect, and that has allowed the personal dialogue to flow. This has resulted in a truly unique rowing book which gives remarkable insight into our wonderful sport at its highest level.” - Tony Brook, 1982 New Zealand World Champion Men’s Eight

The Sport of Rowing by Peter Mallory is the first and absolutely impressive encyclopaedia of Rowing and would be very valuable source of information for everyone who loves our sport.” - Dr. Valery Kleshnev, Rowing Biomechanics Newsletter, www.biorow.com

“I treasure my edition #56 far more than what I paid for it, and I know that I will for years to come. I wish that the members of our crew who are no longer with us could have had the chance to read your masterpiece. Perhaps they are up there with their noses in Volume II right now.” - Dave Wight, 1956 Yale Olympic Champion Men’s Eight

“WOW, Peter! Each section is a jewel of history, rowers, coaches, races and context. Thank you so very much for your gift to the Rowing World. I am grateful that you have captured these people and events before they are lost to time. Thanks for the facts, insights, and amusements. I loved the thoughts of the rowers and coaches that they couldn’t or wouldn’t say at the time. Your life has been so incredibly filled with people and places, you are a really, really lucky soul.” - Jackie Zoch Major, stroke, 1976 U.S. Olympic Bronze Medal Women’s Eight

“I am happy to see the enthusiasm I was introduced to 35 years ago has been put to such good use. Your book has been an opportunity to revisit friends and idols in the sport I loved. You have given us all a gift. I wish such a book had been available to me as a young college kid hanging on an oar for the first time. I would have gobbled it up. What a great way to see how the sport has evolved. Thanks again. You are deserving of much praise.” - Scott Roop, World Lightweight Singles Champion, IRA Champion Coach

“Merriam-Webster defines ‘masterpiece’ as follows: ‘a work done with extraordinary skill; especially: a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement.’ I would add to that: ‘and is considered as such by both amateur and expert alike.’

“It is exceedingly rare to find works of the scope covered in Peter Mallory’s The Sport of Rowing to be other than reference books – more equivalent to encyclopaedias (or Wikipedia!). To find one that is non-fiction and encompasses virtually every aspect of the topic it covers but reads like the book you never want to put down…? That never happens!! Peter has crafted such a book. Time will tell, but certainly at this point in time The Sport of Rowing is truly ‘one of a kind!’” - Rick Crooker, Canadian Olympian, one of Ted Nash’s “Animals” at the University of Pennsylvania

“Peter, your work has been monumental in scope and substance, a true tour de force. I feel very strongly that no one will ever again write anything of this scope about rowing. It has, I’m sure, been the dream of many to do so, but only you have followed that dream to a satisfying completion.

“Your passion for the sport is incandescent and is reflected on every page. I personally have appreciated your determination to get it right, to not take the easy way, but to explore the nuances of our sport. You’ve had to deal with a great many rowing egos in your work (me not the least), and you’ve handled it with grace and fairness. I do understand that.

“I feel that in every rower those intricacies and intangibles are what hold our unending fascination with our chosen sport, and I thank you with deepest humility for your great effort in representing all of us so magnificently. I truly am grateful for what you have accomplished, in, if not an entirely thankless task, at least a wildly underappreciated one. I am proud to know you.” - Dan Lyons, Team Concepts, Inc., 1986 U.S. World Champion Men’s Coxless-Four

"I write to thank you for Chapter 78 of your important history of rowing. While this focuses on Jumbo Edwards and myself, it includes comments from others that are of great interest and rare photographs, some of which I had never seen. I have taken the liberty of passing copies on to a couple of old friends who would, I know, be as fascinated as I was.

"More particularly I must congratulate you on what must be one of the greatest works ever written on a sport, and on the extent of your research. When you first wrote to me with a few pages of British rowing of 50-60 years ago, I was amazed that anyone living in a different country would face the challege of recounting an era long gone.

There have been many books on rowing - I wrote one in 1958 - but this must stand alone because of its extent and thoroughness. Thank you for your courtesy and contribution to the finest of sports. Yours sincerely - Colin Porter, innovative British rower and coach of the 1950s

"An incredible collection of stories and photographs that could have been lost forever. Here are the giants on whose shoulders the sport of rowing stands today." - Gail Pierson Cromwell, 1975 U.S. World Silver Medal Women's Eight (the Red Rose Crew)

“To my knowledge, you have put together the most comprehensive book on rowing, its history starting from the very beginnings and the advances in rowing technique during all these years. In the four volumes you recounted numerous great races, giving a face to the various great sportsmen both in the States and outside.

“But most important of all, through your personal contacts with the people involved, you were able to capture the human determination and drama in the many personal accounts of man fighting to stretch his limits and grow bigger than he ever had imagined he could be. In doing so, you made these books easy to read and difficult to put away.

“I am proud that my coach, my crew members and myself obtained a place in these volumes.” - Alex Mullink, stroke, 1964 Dutch Olympic Silver Medal Coxed-Four

“As the proud owner of signed collector edition #87 of The Sport of Rowing, reflecting the year the U.S. Eight I was in won the World Championship and ended a 13-year drought, I thought that I knew more about rowing than most. It is humbling to me to look at the depth of knowledge included in this collection and realize how little I actually knew about the sport I love. The variety of styles and the cast of characters spanning the history of rowing is very impressive and very entertaining. Kudos to you, Peter, for your labor of love and your perseverance to bring this history to print.” - Jeff McLaughlin, 1987 World Champion, USA Men’s Eight, 1988 Olympic Bronze Medal Men’s Eight, 1992 Olympic Silver Medal Men’s Coxless-Four

“In creating The Sport of Rowing, Peter Mallory has given former competitors and teammates a chance to review their efforts and the efforts of friends and competitors through the comfortable lens of time. The process was a great deal of fun and a gift to all of us.” - Gregg Stone, rower of the Harvard Rude and Smooth era, 3-time U.S. Men’s Single Sculler, father and coach of Gevvie Stone.

The Sport of Rowing is a must have for the rowing junky in all of us. It relates how rowing got here and who was responsible, the stories of those who did the coaching, the administering, and most importantly, hung on the ends of the oars (or better yet sculls) and made the sport theirs.” - Bill Belden, 1974 & 1979 World Lightweight Men’s Singles Champion

"I first heard about Peter Mallory when he contacted me about a rowing reunion that we were planning for the 1967-8 Harvard crews. Could he come visit? Could he row with us? We were happy to have anyone turn up for a row. He came, asked questions and listened. He was writing a book about the history of rowing. Little did I imagine what he would finally produce, an exhaustive study about the history of rowing, and he wanted to include us.

"When I opened my autographed copy, I found a drop of blood on the signature page. There had been a cut on my hand, but I had not noticed it bleeding. I remain uncertain whether the drop of blood is mine or Peter’s, from all of the toil he but into the book.

"From the catch to the finish, each broken down into 10 parts. (I am waiting about the sequel about the recovery.) As a committed hammer, I was intrigued to learn about other ways. I have been over all four volumes, and I best like the parts when he lets the athletes tell their own stories. Joe Burk. Harry Parker. Steve Gladstone. Al Rosenberg. The intense rivalries. And there in the pictures was Peter rowing with so many different crews.

"A wonderful story, you must have had a delightful time. Thank you so much for included us in your book. It belongs on the bookshelf of every serious rower." - Andy Larkin, 1968 Harvard Olympic Eight

“In selflessly completing his monumental task, Peter Mallory has ensured his place in the pantheon of global sporting literature. The cost of obtaining one of the ten remaining collector editions is surely a small price to pay in support of an organisation which, like Mallory, has made, and will continue to make, a peerless contribution to our sport.” - Robin Poke, Australian rowing historian, biographer of Peter Antonie

“This book will never be duplicated in any sense; it is the definitive account of rowing - US, International, and at the various levels – as it is known today. The amount of detail and substantive analysis is not just impressive, it is mind-boggling.” - Jim Tew, 1964 Harvard Olympic Coxed-Four, 1965 Harvard Varsity Men’s Eight

“It certainly is the most comprehensive treatment of rowing that I have ever seen. Dad would be proud that you dedicated it to his memory. I’m sure he would have much enjoyed reading about and seeing pictures of people, friends and associates from his past. I was certainly absorbed by it for days. My nephew came by for a visit in January, and he was greatly entertained by pictures of Dad and the family that he had never seen before. Much credit to you. The volumes stand as a monument to the tremendous amount of work that you did to create them.” - Roger Burk, Joe Burk’s son.

“In The Sport of Rowing Peter has not only given the world the compilation of the history of our sport but the keys to success in the future. The recounts of races, techniques and eras of rowing over the last 150 years are not only interesting, but are informative to what we do today. If you are involved in our sport at any level, The Sport of Rowing is a must!” - Nick Baker, University of Pennsylvania Lightweight Men’s Coach

“What I most appreciate about The Sport of Rowing is hearing athletes speak in their own, unedited voices. It takes a rare talent to get people to reveal their deepest feelings, but you have managed it. I come away from your book with a better understanding of how emotional concentration fuels great athletic performance. Thank you for this insight.” - Duvall Hecht, 1956 U.S. Olympic Champion Men’s Coxless-Pair

“We love your books ~ gave to Cal for Christmas. Our friends and relatives have been pouring over them ever since. Thank you so much for your outstanding contribution to the sport we all love.” - Margaret Coffey, wife to Calvin Coffey, 1976 U.S. Silver Medal Men’s Coxless-Pair

“Reading Peter Mallory’s The Sport of Rowing is like having a private conversation with the very rowers who created rowing history. Credit Peter for rescuing for posterity hitherto unknown accounts of what really happened, accounts otherwise destined to be lost forever in the fading memories of the few who experienced those events. But for Peter’s reportage in Vol. II, at p.960, the rowing community would never have known how crucial to our 1964 Olympic Gold Medal victory was coach Harry Parker’s insistence that Thomi Keller halt racing in the middle of the grand finals program until a devastating cross headwind turned to direct head, thereby giving our pair the chance to compete on a level playing field with the other crews.” - Kent Mitchell, 1960 U.S. Olympic Bronze Medal and 1964 Olympic Champion Coxed-Pair

“Your magnum opus is an excellent account of the technical history of rowing that highlights so many of the greats who have been involved in our beautiful sport. Also, it has been an extremely valuable source for my second book, Hanlan’s Spirit.” - Jim Joy, The Joy of Sculling

The Sport of Rowing is an epic work, sweeping in its comprehensive analysis and illuminating in its insights. Peter Mallory navigates through the history of rowing with the detail, personal stories and engaging narrative.” - Zenon Babraj, University of Southern California Women’s Coach

The Sport of Rowing is a long overdue, highly enjoyable and impressively professional publication. Peter Mallory has captured an incredible amount of information concerning the evolution of our sport. One has to appreciate the magnitude of this task! My hat is in the air for a most incredible job well-done!” - Rick Clothier, U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Coach

“A labor of love, The Sport of Rowing certainly is and will remain a unique contribution and will serve as a guide for future generations of oarspersons and coaches. I have thoroughly enjoyed my set and am constantly in awe of the depth that you have covered the subject. For our Naval Academy boat, it helped immensely by putting into perspective the chain of events leading up to 1960 and what was for us a bitter sweet experience as the U.S. Olympic Eight which broke the chain of winning.” - Lyman Perry, 1960 U.S. Naval Academy Olympic Men’s Eight

The Sport of Rowing might best be described as an encyclopedia for anyone who loves our sport. Each chapter throughout all four volumes is sprinkled with the technical evolution of the rowing stroke along with the results of most of the great regattas over two centuries. But, almost more importantly, each segment is filled with stories of the oarsmen, often told in the first person. At last we now have an anthology of rowing that can be enjoyed one freestanding chapter at a time or as a delightful text book to seriously study and learn the many aspects of our sport and gain knowledge of its luminary coaches and athletes.” - Phil Gravink, stroke of the great 1957 Cornell Varsity, 4-time IRA Champion, Grand Challenge Cup winner.

“When I was competing, I always went into some ‘zone’ and never remembered the ‘bowball-to-bowball’ account of a race. I loved hearing the stories of my own races then or years later from my boatmates, some of whom had even journaled daily practices and seat races. What Peter has done in his magnificent tome is to assemble the bowball-to-bowball accounts of rowing itself! The Sport of Rowing is as if all the great masters of the craft were in your living room at the same time swapping lies and pithy truths about the sport we all love. Once you pick one of the volumes up (which requires pre-read weight training), it is hard to put it down!” - Monk Terry, stroke, 1972 U.S. Olympic Men’s Eight

“No doubt the most effective way of moving a boat has been hotly debated since oars were first dipped in water. Peter Mallory set out to find the advocates and their arguments, and in doing so began a journey of such length and diversity that I bet he wouldn’t have set off if he’d realised it would last seven years and reach four giant volumes. Personally I couldn’t care a bell note for the nuances of the Washington Stroke from Conibear to Ernst or the ripples of Fairbairnism from Jesus and Pembroke to Thames and London, or orthodox back angles from Warre to Spracklen. But for me the great thing about Mallory’s opus is the anecdotes uncovered on the way. The Sport of Rowing is a long draft spiced with cocktails and pick-me-ups, full of argument, quotable quotes and stories of coaches and their mentors world-wide. This epic exploration of ideas is a hugely entertaining debate, and what Peter and his book deserve is for the conversation to continue. Dip in and enjoy.” - Chris Dodd, historian, River & Rowing Museum, and author of Pieces of Eight

“For a sport that has existed for centuries, it is exceedingly difficult to provide a meaningful overall perspective along with the human and rowing event detail that give it life. For the first time, Peter Mallory has done that. Only the passion he has always had for rowing could have produced the 7-year effort that has brought to life the inside stories of so many world class boats and their athletes, all this while putting it into a perspective that had not previously been understood. Results of major rowing races are one thing, but no one would ever know of what dedication, disappointments and lessons learned lay behind them, were it not for this unique and complete history of rowing that has preserved all that for generations to come. All rowers, including those who have not yet picked up and oar, owe Peter a special debt of gratitude.” - Peter Bos, Captain, 1960 U.S. Naval Academy Olympic Men’s Eight

“Peter, since my retirement, I have spent literally thousands of hours looking into my own family past, using actual genetic markers and other historical sources. I have been able to go back for the families of my parents and grandparents perhaps as far as you did with the history of rowing. That has given me a tremendous appreciation about where I fit in my family tree, and it helps me understand some of my personality traits that seem to have been transmitted through my genetic code. This is in complete agreement with my ‘genetic’ history in rowing. I can see where I came from, where my ‘DNA’ was formed, and how I personally fit into the rowing family.

“I believe that everyone who has pulled an oar appreciates the beauty of the sport, but only through your book is it possible to trace oneself through the family tree that is rowing. I can see where my coaches, Ted Nash, Joe Burk and Dietrich Rose, came from. I can also look to who their ancestors were, and that is a magical view for me of my rowing DNA. If there really are ‘Six Degrees of Separation,’ I think that by using your book it’s possible to go back to the first pages in volume I to get a linear path to modern rowers.

“Thanks for the work you did.” - Luther Jones, 1968 University of Pennsylvania Olympic Men’s Coxed-Four, 1972 College Boat Club Olympic Men’s Coxed-Pair