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

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  19 reviews
“Thrill-seeking women leading double lives—accountant by day, hell on wheels by night—will find a great introduction to derby history here, from its early days to the ’70sRollerJam heights to its new punk-queer aesthetic in the modern revival. There are also player vignettes, rule breakdowns, definitions of derby slang and lots of pictures to accompany Mabe’s semi-fanatica ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Speck Press (first published November 1st 2007)
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Earlier this year Clovis and I were invited by a friend to see his girlfriend jam in the newly-formed Hot Metal Hellions, a local roller derby team. This was a new experience for us; we were surprisingly intrigued by it and found ourselves at the rest of the jams of the season. But we had questions - are they really supposed to skate that slowly? aren't they supposed to be knocking each other down? isn't this crappy floor to be a track? I took it upon myself to try to become more acquainted with ...more
Jim Mcclanahan
Mar 11, 2013 Jim Mcclanahan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Roller Derby Junkies
Nicely produced colorful book. Good information on the current (2007) state of the sport. Written almost entirely from the point of view of female participants. I was impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the author and her fellow derby-ites, many of whom not only are mentioned but (impressively) also have commented on Goodreads.

But I'm looking at this from the point of view of an old guy who used to watch games on KTVU (San Francisco) in the "golden days". I'd have liked to see more mention of s
A fairly decent book, both in content and design. However, with each passing day the facts of modern roller derby evolve beyond the roots of its nascent revival years, thus whole sections of this are now history more than the derby primer it was intended to be. It features a fairly well-developed account of historic roller derby, although lacking sources, and expansively white-washing the fact—both in text and in photographs—that there was always a male and female component. And the captions thr ...more
Sure it's short, but it definitely packs a punch. It would make a great "baby's first derby book". I don't mean to say that it's a pop up (some great pictures and art throughout, though) or childish, just that it's the perfect introduction to the sport, especially for derby skaters themselves. I honestly wish that every new skater could receive a copy of this as soon as they join their league to get both the history of the game, and a glimpse of what they're becoming a part of.
It tells the tale
Jocelyn Bassler
My parents gave me this book for Christmas because I started doing roller derby this past summer and it has quickly become a major interest of mine. The best part of the book is probably the history of derby past. It does a decent job of explaining derby today, but it seems to skip around between banked track and flat track derby, which might confuse some. It seems that the target reader for this book is someone with a general interest in derby rather than a derby girl (even a rookie), coach, re ...more
I started reading this book to get pumped before joining my local derby league. At that time I was the perfect audience: a non-player who wanted to find out more about the history of the sport and inner-workings of modern roller derby. After training for a couple months, I went back to finish the book and the contents reinforced what I had already learned about comradery, league operations and gameplay. Still, the photos are great and the timeline through the 20th and 21st century is thorough. B ...more
My picture is on page 116!!!
This book is awesome. Especially the part on page 93 where they talk about me.
This is a great coffee table, roller derby 101 book. Gorgeous photographs, simple explanations, and interesting historical details. I highly recommend this to anyone, but especially everyone who sees Whip It or any other fictional depiction of roller derby and wants to know what the real thing is like.
Splatz Amore
I read this book before I joined the Roller Derby and thought it was pretty good. It does a great job of giving you all the basics about derby: the history, rules, etc. It doesn't ever really get into much detail though. It would be a good read for someone interested in the derby or thinking about joining the derby.
Charla aka Chuckie
It is a quick informative read for any roller derby fan, or even someone just interested in learning about this new sport sweeping the nation. If you are a rollergirl, you will love this little book, for the information and the pictures, it confirms the fact that you are a part of something unique.
Laura B unata
Interesting look at the history of roller derby, as well as the rules. It also spotlights some of the current derby girls.
A bit light on the contemporary revival, which hasn't been going on for that long, but a good primer on the game's boom-and-bust history. Its current notables includes one woman who put off law school for derby! Highly stylized, very athletic camp, and great fun!
A good consise overview of the history of roller derby and how it got to where it is today. Solid athleticism without dramatics. As a skater I really enjoyed the optimism portrayed throughout regarding the potential for our brothers and sisters on the track.
The history is very interesting -I had no idea about any of this until a short time ago. Talk about sheltered... Of course, I think I'll still be confused at the next bout I attend, but I'll have a better grasp of the culture, and of the rules.
Feb 23, 2009 Beth added it
Hard to rate this one. You have to want to know about the sport - if you do, then I give it a 5. If you are just looking for a curious read, maybe a 3.
Apr 15, 2008 Malbadeen added it
Recommends it for: JILL!
Jill, the WFTDA nationals will be here in November.

Should we expect to see you then?
Georgia Taylor
I need to do Roller Derby. Just that pesky school in the way, for now...
More to it than short skirts and bruises.
I mainly skimmed. Didn't really have a whole lot of time to read it at that moment.
Jules marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Marianne Franco
Marianne Franco marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2015
K.l. Tremaine
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Aug 01, 2015
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