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Roller Derby
The History and All-Girl Revival of the Greatest Sport on Wheels

By Catherine Mabe
foreword by Ivanna S. Pankin

Price: $18 - Trade Paperback

Sports | Popular Culture

7" x 7.75", 160 pages
Over 100 color and b&w photos and reproductions

Do you hear that? It?s the swift, rolling paces and reverberating collisions of one of America?s most notorious and beloved sports racing into a city near you. Roller derby is back, en masse! Scores of American women are leading double lives. By day, they are librarians, financial analysts, bartenders, teachers, and even mothers; by night, their athletic alter egos assume authority with monikers such as Helen Wheels, Dirty Britches, Anna Mosity, and Assaultin? Pepa. They lace up their skates, slide into racy racing uniforms, and adorn a full set of protective gear for a night of down-and-dirty derby.

In Roller Derby, readers confront this die-hard sport in all its various incarnations, from the original depression-era games through the days of RollerJam to its current crazed, nationwide revival. If you don?t have a league in your city, wait about a week. Fishnets and quad skates are bound to soon appear. Derby is springing up everywhere, from both coasts and everywhere in betweeneven across the pond.

What started as a dance-a-thon-style test of endurance has evolved into a unique sport that exemplifies point scoring, body checking, speed, blood, punches, and miles and miles of personality and style. Readers revel in vignettes from old-school and new-school girls, continuing on with the process of selecting a derby name and style, the artistic element to logos and uniforms, so-gruesome-you-just-have-to-look injuries, what?s legal during a bout andmore importantlywhat?s not, and much more.

Encircling the story of roller derby are vintage promo paraphernalia and historical photographs, as well as stunning, full-color and black-and-white, modern-day shots of the women, the bouts, and the sport.

Catherine Mabe (a. k. a. Jayne Manslaughter) is a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, one of the nation?s popular, modern-day, flat-track roller derby leagues. She is first and foremost a skater but has also served as director of recruitment and public relations. Mabe?s knowledge and understanding of roller derby?s past coupled with her own immersion in the game?s future provide a unique look at a truly American sport.

The recent worldwide expansion of the game has lured Mabe in further to the world of derby. She serves as Rookie League Wrangler for the central region of the U.S. and parts of Canada for the Women?s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). In this role, she offers advice to leagues trying to get off the ground and puts them in touch with other WFTDA resources for information.

True to the image of a derby girl?s fast-paced life, Mabe divides her time between living and working in Arizona and serving as an active member of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls in Colorado.

Copyright 2008 Speck Press
an imprint of Fulcrum Publishing
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