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women's studies

Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Don Van Natta Jr.
Publisher Little, Brown/BOMC  
Format hardcover, BOMC
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9780316056991
Pages/Publication Date 405/2011
Daedalus Item Code 31626
This item is not available.
Here, the cowriter of Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitious of Hillary Rodham Clinton takes on another groundbreaking female hero of a completely different time. Babe Didrikson, the daughter of poor Norwegian immigrants living in rural Texas, was told her place in the world but refused to listen. A childhood daredevil, she grew up with a full heart and a rebellious spirit, and by the age of 13, announced that one day she would be the world's greatest female athlete. Everyone around her laughed, but Babe would turn out to be right. Although women were discouraged from competing in athletics, Babe excelled in basketball, track and field, baseball, softball, tennis, and bowling. She achieved all-American status in basketball and won two gold metals and a silver one in track and field at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. In an attempt to parlay her Olympics success into a career as a professional athlete, Babe was disheartened to find that the only positions open to her were sideshow stints on the vaudeville stage and riding a donkey around a baseball diamond. Then she discovered golf. Taking on the men, she became the first woman to play in the PGA, was one of the founders of the LPGA, and won more consecutive tournaments than any golfer—male or female—before or since. Charming fans with her raucous sense of humor, incredible athletic ability, and ferocious desire to win, Babe became an international celebrity, a beloved icon of invincibility—all the while, facing vicious attacks and gossip from those who believed that women should get off of the greens. But her biggest challenge—one that would ultimately take her life—was yet to come. And in that struggle to play and win again, Babe would turn out to be a greater champion than anyone could have imagined.

"A wonderful read about a woman who charged through life, shattering stereotypes on the playing fields and off. As a boy I followed her amazing career in the sports pages as she changed the face of golf and the Olympics, but now, thanks to Don Van Natta, Ihave the complete story of this authentically American trailblazer."—Tom Brokaw

"Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Don Van Natta's Wonder Girl doesn't just tell the story of Babe Didrikson's rambunctious and remarkable life, it immerses the reader directly in her world. Sparkling with detail and distinctive characters, from snobby Texas society dames to scheming vaudevillian hustlers, Wonder Girl paints a vibrant portrait of early twentieth-century America—and of the funny, flawed, and fearless woman who captured its heart."—Katie Baker

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