The Red Rose Crew is in fact a classic and it belongs on any number of lists: a list of sports thrillers (its a great read, almost impossible to put down); a list of the changes wrought by the womens sports movement that began in the sixties; and finally a list of good books on American history-for it is a book that tells how things really happened and describes the formidable forces aligned against the women who led the way. from the Foreword by David Halberstam
The Red Rose Crew is a terrific book. Its not just for rowers-its as universally appealing as The Horse Whisperer.
John Casey, author of Spartina
In 1975, a group of amazing women rowed their way to international success and glory, battling sexual prejudice, bureaucracy, and male domination in one of the most grueling and competitive sports around. Among the members of the first international womens crew team-and one of the first womens teams anywhere-were Gail Pearson, the soft-spoken MIT professor who fought equally hard off the water to win the political battles necessary for her team to succeed; lead rower Carie Graves, a statuesque bohemian from rural Wisconsin who dropped out of college and later became the most intense rower of the crew; and Lynn Stillman, a tiny sixteen-year-old coxswain from California.
On hand to guide them was Harry Parker, the legendary Harvard mens crew coach who overcame his doubts about the ability of women to withstand the rigors of hard training. From their first dramatic bid at the 1975 World Championships to their preparations for their first Olympic Games in 1976, this gripping story of bravery, determination, and indomitable spirit captures a compelling moment in the history of sports and of America.