Now with a new afterword, The Girls of Summer, by the award- winning New York Times sportswriter Jere Longman, takes a serious, compelling look at the women who won the 1999 World Cup and brings to life the skills and victories of the American team. Longman explores the issues this unprecedented achievement has raised: the importance of the players as role models; the significance of race and class; the sexualization of the team members; and the differences between men and women's sports. Provocative and insightful, this book reminds us that the real struggles are off the field -- and some remain to be won.
Soccer fans and even the uninitiated are unlikely to forget last summer's extraordinary game when the U.S. women's team defeated China for the world championship. Who doesn't recall the seemingly endless overtime plays and the victorious Brandi Chastain tearing off her jersey? With the 1999 team etched into sporting history, a reprise of the winning season was inevitable. The stories of the team members are particularly evocative, especially the struggles of individual players to overcome physical hardship. (For example, Longman eloquently describes Michelle Akers's severe chronic fatigue syndrome, which frequently caused her to collapse after games.) But excerpts of fans' conversation and naysayers' commentary appeal less. Longman, a sportswriter for the New York Times, interviewed coaches, players, fans and members of the competition for this detailed account of the championship season. Soccer fans wanting to savor the games and learn of behind-the-scenes events will probably enjoy this book. Yet Longman tries to cover so much ground--from the biographies of the players to the political aspect of the game to the fans' perspective--that the work as a whole remains uneven. Photos not seen by PW.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Every soccer fan should read this.
The Girls of Summer is a poignant novel about the struggles of the USWNT in its early stages. This book just goes to show how far we've come in the world of women's soccer and sports as a whole. Avid fans will appreciate the player interviews especially.