Better Faster Farther

How Running Changed Everything We Know About Women
by Maggie Mertens

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“From foot-binding to corsets, patriarchal societies have found ways to immobilize women, but now, marathoners and Olympians are proving that women can run like the wind!” —GLORIA STEINEM

"A look behind the curtain that all women who love running and sport should read.”
KARA GOUCHER, Olympic runner and New York Times-bestselling author...
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Published By Algonquin Books

Format Hardback

Category

Number Of Pages 304

Publication Date 06/18/2024

ISBN 9781643753355

Dimensions 6 inches x 9 inches


“From foot-binding to corsets, patriarchal societies have found ways to immobilize women, but now, marathoners and Olympians are proving that women can run like the wind!” 

— Gloria Steinem

"It is hard and frustrating—and ultimately inspiring—to read about how women have continually been dismissed throughout our sport's history. This book shows and credits so many of them, who hurdled roadblocks and continued to fight for their place. Better Faster Farther is a look behind the curtain that all women who love running and sport should read.”

— Kara Goucher, Olympic runner and New York Times-bestselling author of The Longest Race

Better Faster Farther traces the history of scrutiny over women's bodies and capabilities as runners at the intersections of race, gender identity, and sex development making clear just how little we actually know (and care to know) about them. An essential read to normalize women's existence, excellence and humanity within the sport of running.”

— Alison Mariella Désir, author Running While Black

"A meticulously researched examination of the history of women's competitive running, with valuable takeaways for athletes of all sports." 

— Bonnie Tsui, author of Why We Swim and Sarah and the Big Wave

“Delightful and enraging, Better Faster Farther traces the centuries-long lineage of women who wanted to run and became feminist heroes. Mertens expertly reveals the long history of sexism and misogyny that is very much alive today in women’s athletics and across society. This book is for anyone interested in how our understanding of human biology is shaped as much by story as by science."

— Chelsea Conaboy, author of Mother Brain: How Neuroscience Is Rewriting the Story of Parenthood

“With her evocative prose and ever-present attention to detail, Maggie Mertens has written a much-needed examination of women's running. Better Faster Farther is a blistering examination of how sexism, racism, and transphobia have so deeply impacted a sport that should be the ultimate democratizer. This book has the potential to change the sport as we know it.”

— Frankie de la Cretaz, co-author of Hail Mary: The Rise and Fall of the National Women's Football League

“An essential and necessary history of a subject that has not just been overlooked, but often overtly and purposely ignored.”

— Glenn Stout, author of Young Woman and the Sea

“Chronicling these women’s relentless pursuit of inclusion in competitive running events, Mertens regains control of the narrative of female runners—and female athletes more broadly… Illuminating, informative, and inspiring.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“A fascinating deep dive into the myth of gender roles that set limitations on women’s participation in athletics… This insightful, well-researched book captures the struggles of female athletes who blazed a path for all who run in their footsteps, proving sports can, indeed, be a positive vehicle for social change.”

— Booklist, *Starred Review*