Breaking Through: How female athletes shattered stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties by Sue Macy. 96 p. National Geographic, February, 2020. 9781426336768. (Review of finished copy borrowed from public library.)
|Image: National Geographic|
Fact Friday features Breaking Through: How female athletes shattered stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties by Sue Macy. While viewership of female professional sports teams does not (yet) match the viewership of male teams, having the opportunity to watch female athletes compete is not extraordinary nowadays. It was a scant one hundred years ago that the idea of women being physically fit, let alone competing, was scandalous.
Ms. Macy's author bio on the back flap of this intriguing and utterly engaging book states that she was obsessed with time travel books as a child. Reading this narrative feels like traveling back in time with Ms. Macy's conversational storytelling and the plentiful archival photographs placing the reader firmly into the decade of flux that became known as the "Roaring Twenties."
Following a forward by Notre Dame Women's basketball coach, Muffet McGraw and an introduction by the author, the decade is broken up into five chapters. Each chapter not only features a pioneering female athlete, but also historical context. Text boxes feature mini-biographies and snippets of newspaper articles from the time period. An epilogue brings the reader through the latter part of the twentieth century up to the groundbreaking Title IX amendment of the Education Amendments to the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibited schools that received federal funding from discrimination in sports. Back matter includes a timeline of "Defining Moments in Women's Sports," an author's note, a list of resources that includes websites and videos, two pages of quote sources and notes, illustration credits and an index, making this an excellent source for young researchers.