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Article

The Great Swim

Posted on

The Great Swim

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Gavin Mortimer
publisher:
Walker & Company
genre:
Sports, Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

In 1926, when legs-baring bathing suits were still considered titillating, swimming the English Channel was a fast track to international stardom. Gavin Mortimer’s engrossing book, The Great Swim, follows four American women who competed that summer to become the first female to cross the treacherous strait. Mortimer’s descriptions of their attempts are gripping, like the failed try of underdog Clarabelle Barrett, who struggled in rough seas for over 21 hours before giving up. Even more fascinating is the rabid celebrity culture he evokes: Mobs of adoring fans in New York nearly tore one successful swimmer to pieces, only to forget all about her the following year. A-

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