The Pedestriennes: America's Forgotten Superstars

The Pedestriennes: America's Forgotten Superstars

by Harry Hall


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"The Pedestriennes: America's Forgotten Superstars" tells the little-known story of a handful of late 19th century female athletes who dazzled America with their remarkable performances in endurance walking. Frequently performing in front of large raucous crowds, pedestriennes walked on makeshift tracks set-up in reconfigured theatres and opera houses. Top pedestrennes often earned more money in one week than the average American took home in a year. Newspapers reported on their achievements and interviewed the champions. Their walking outfi ts became fashion plates, their pictures were sold in stores and they made personal appearances as national celebrities.
The pedestriennes' exploits reshaped the country's attitudes about what women could accomplish and established the foundation for modern sports, the revival of the Olympic Games and the suffragist movement.

About the Author

In his 20 year writing career, Harry Hall's work has appeared in several publications, including Runner-Triathlete News, Mayborn magazine and The Dallas Morning News. Along the way, Harry interviewed celebrities such as Robin Roberts, Earl Campbell, Jim Courier, and Chuck Norris. He's covered a variety of amateur and professional sporting events, including the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament, US Olympic Track and Field Trials, and the Boston Marathon. A long-time public speaking instructor, he wrote a book on overcoming the fear of public speaking, "Help! Everyone is Staring at Me." A one-time syndicated columnist and radio talk show host, Harry was named the Texas Dietetic Association's Media Personality of the Year, and is a member of the Mayborn Author's Guild.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781457530326
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Publication date: 06/26/2014
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

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The Pedestriennes: America's Forgotten Superstars 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
LindaMarie07 More than 1 year ago
Strength comes in many forms. The Pedestriennes displayed physical, mental, and emotion strength that would stand the test of time. It is with much gratitude that I have been able to read about these incredible athletes. I was able to imagine the grueling preparations and punishing toll that Madame Ada Anderson experienced at Brooklyn’s Mozart Garden. Hence, envisioning painful back aches, blistered feet, and sleepiness like never before. The author tells the stories of various Pedestriennes all culminating in competitions and races that brought this sport to the forefront. I was able to be both a “Pedestrienne” and fan in the stands. It was refreshing to read about immigrants who were able to literally walk themselves away from poverty in this country. As someone who truly enjoys watching sports of all kinds, I am utterly impressed with Madame Anderson, Amy Howard, Bertha von Hillern, May Marshall, and Exilda LaChapelle. All of these athletes aren’t household names and it is a shame that most of the world has forgotten about them. However, it is important to teach future generations of girls and boys about these Pedestriennes. They were able to persevere in a time when women didn’t have equal rights under the law. But it is equally important that they had women and men who coached and supported them as well. Madame Anderson and her coach, Mike Henry, are what pure sports legends are made of. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
KMH3030 More than 1 year ago
The Pedestriennes takes a look at the forgotten female superstars of endurance walking, a sport that had a great following during the 19th century. Hall explains that during the Industrial Revolution, the change in culture, while positive in many ways, also tended to have an ill effect on overall public health. Endurance walking, where a professional pedestrian would walk miles in quick successive installments, like walking 1000 miles in 1000 hours in front of audiences, rose to prominence. Pedestriennes, or female endurance walkers, gained notoriety and fame, showing society and fellow women that they could accomplish incredible things. This look into the world of Pedestriennes was really fascinating. Hall does a great job of building an understanding of the world that these women grew up and competed in, where most of the women had little options. Their determination is incredible; the actual competitions were incredibly grueling, but the following that grew around the sport shows just how much impact these women had the culture of the time. This is an interesting look into one of the subcultures of the 19th century, one I knew nothing about, and Hall does an amazing job of bringing the lives and experiences of the Pedestiennes to life. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.