LIVING DANGEROUSLY: American Women Who Risked Their Lives for Adventure by Doreen Rappaport

LIVING DANGEROUSLY: American Women Who Risked Their Lives for Adventure

Email this review


The subtitle here is misleading: though they all took unusual risks, these six women were not merely daredevils. Their motives for their extraordinary exploits included trying to make enough money to survive (Annie Edson Taylor published a book about going over Niagara Falls in a barrel); furthering a scientific career (Delia Ackley led a safari to collect specimens for the Brooklyn Museum; mountaineer Annie Smith Peck was one of the first women to be a college professor; and diver Eugenic Clark now teaches at the University of Maryland); and providing a courageous example (Bessie Coleman was the first licensed black pilot; Thecla Mitchell was a disabled participant in the 1990 New York Marathon). In taut narratives centering on a few dramatic events, Rappaport focuses on her subjects' problem solving, pluck, and perseverance rather than on their lifelong accomplishments, though she does provide enough biographical background to set each in context. Her text is lively with direct quotes, garnered, she explains in excellent notes, from interviews and the subjects' own writings. A few muddy b&w photos are included; especially for the more recent figures, it's too bad that photos giving a better sense of these strong characters weren't found. List of 26 women adventurers. Bracing and inspirational.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1991
Page count: 117pp
Publisher: HarperCollins