10 June 2014

Babe Conquers the World; Rich Wallace

Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrikson ZahariasBabe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Rich Wallace
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Only at the very end do the authors bemoan that when we talk about Babe is usually "Ruth" not "Didrikson" and this book attempts to correct that. It would have been interesting had that thread carried through the book, because she truly was famous and yet we don't get a full sense of that fame. They also seem to pull some punches when describing this woman who doesn't seem terribly likeable. Her lack of team play is mentioned, but not how she managed to get the track event rules changed (who did the campaigning, Babe? her boss? someone else?) and others reaction to that and other things is muted.

What comes through loud and clear is that she was an amazing athlete at a time when women were actively discouraged from competing (or even learning athletics). Her accomplishments were so varied and inspiring at the time, but we really hear very little about her today.

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