The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down

Seal. Aug. 2019. 240p. notes. ISBN 9781580058803. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781580058810. SPORTS
What most people will remember from the Larry Nassar trial and sentencing is the image of hundreds of women who bravely spoke to the man who sexually abused them. These women finally had the opportunity to voice their truths and, as a result, inspired other survivors of sexual violence. Award-winning journalist Pesta (coauthor, How Dare the Sun Rise) investigates not only Nassar himself but also the culture and organizations that were negligent and allowed the abuse to continue. In interviewing a range of survivors, Pesta shares stories from some who have never before spoken publicly about their abuse. The result is a powerful work that shows how many different people and organizations failed these women.
VERDICT While the book is difficult to read at times owing to the details of sexual violence, it may be the most important sports title of the year. Pesta’s in-depth reporting reveals the entire scope of Nassar’s history, and the many who enabled his behavior. Highly recommended.

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