Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
America's Girl

America's Girl

The Incredible Story of How Swimmer Gertrude Ederle Changed the Nation

Tim Dahlberg with Mary Ederle Ward and Brenda Greene

St. Martin's Press




America's Girl is an intimate look at the life and trials of Gertrude Ederle, who in 1926 not only became the first woman to swim across the English Channel, but broke the record set by men. The feat so thrilled America that it welcomed her home with a ticker tape parade that drew two million people. This fascinating portrait follows Ederle from her early days as a competitive swimmer through her gold medal triumph at the 1924 Olympics, to the first attempt the next year by Ederle to swim from France to England in frigid and turbulent waters, a feat that had been conquered by only five men up to that time.

This is also a stirring look at the go-go era of the 1920s, when the country was about to recognize that women not only could vote, but compete on an international scale as athletes. At the height of Prohibition, Ederle's triumph over the formidable Channel was a triumph for women everywhere.

America's Girl immerses readers in a pivitol era of American history and brings to life the spirit of that time.


1 "Bring On Your Old Channel"

August 1925, Cape Gris-Nez, France

The grease was the worst. Inside the engine room of the tug La Morinie bobbing up and down just off the coast of France, Gertrude Ederle was having it slathered...


Praise for America's Girl

“Dahlberg expertly depicts the flurry that surrounded Ederle's feat and her homecoming. He chronicles the heavy coverage of her in newspapers, which regaled readers with such details as Ederle's favorite soda-fountain treat (a strawberry marshmallow frappé) and the special affinity she showed for the bathtub as a child. The year of her record-setting swim, readers of Hearst newspapers voted Ederle their favorite athlete, ahead of home-run king Babe Ruth....” —American Way Magazine

“Drawing on Ederle's extensive archive of more than 1,500 newspaper and magazine clippings, an unfinished memoir, and other background material, [America's Girl] is the remarkable, captivating story of a woman who set almost impossible goals and accomplished most of them.” —Tucson Citizen

“There was little overt drama or controversy in Ederle's life before or after her fame peaked, but the authors make up for that by providing a vivid sense of the Roaring Twenties and the media storm that accompanied the Channel crossing. Today a comparable accomplishment would generate a lifetime of media appearances, but Ederle almost immediately faded back into a pleasant if uneventful life. An interesting slice of American sports history.” —Booklist

“Gertrude Ederle was America's girl, and her saga, as told so comprehensively and thoughtfully by Tim Dahlberg, is the story of all America then -- growing up in the great, swelling joy of the Roaring Twenties, then living through the horrible, despairing letdown of the Depression. It's the particular tale of a swimmer and a pioneer female athlete, but its bittersweet resonances touch a whole era and its people.” —Frank Deford, legendary writer, Sports Illustrated, author and commentator

“In each generation, some people prove that our possibilities exceed our fears. In this warm, funny, and moving book, Trudy Ederle shines as one who inspired women and humankind.” —Dorothy Ours, author of MAN O' WAR: A Legend Like Lightning

About the author

Tim Dahlberg with Mary Ederle Ward and Brenda Greene

TIM DAHLBERG is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. He has been a sports writer for more than twenty-five years. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

MARY EDERLE WARD is Gertrude Ederle's niece and her caretaker for the last twelve years of her life. Gertrude passed on to her an extensive archive of more than 1,500 newspaper clippings, magazine articles and other background materials on her life.

BRENDA GREENE is an author of three books, an editor, and a writer.

Tim Dahlberg

Mary Ederle Ward

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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