Check It Out: Sisterhood of the Squared Circle

Jun 14, 2017

This book highlights important women in wrestling from the past and present and also shows the evolution of women’s wrestling from its beginnings as a sideshow act to its current state in 2017, where female wrestlers are big stars, just like their male counterparts.

   The fame of women athletes has exploded over the last two decades, with stars like Venus and Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Danica Patrick, and Lindsey Vonn regularly splashed across magazine covers and TV screens. For much of the history of wrestling though, women struggled to find places to even show off their skills. In many states like New York and California, women’s wrestling was illegal for decades and deemed “improper and vulgar.”

   The authors take us on a journey through the highest and lowest points of women’s wrestling, from the days of lady grapplers being a carnival attraction to the much-hyped Wrestlemania Match in the 1980s between the legendary Fabulous Moolah and newcomer Wendi Richter. The low points can be heartbreaking, as the chapter on one of the most famous women wrestlers, Mildred Burke, shows us. She met Billy Wolfe who would work as her promoter and later become her husband. Wolfe and Burke were a Hollywood “It” couple decades before the term existed, but her life in and out of the wrestling ring was far from perfect. Wolfe kept the majority of all that Burke earned, not allowing her enough money to break free of his abuse and control to start her own wrestling business. The story of Mildred’s personal struggles and wrestling glories will keep any reader hooked, whether or not you’re a wrestling fan.

          Even if you have never seen a wrestling match in your life, you’ll enjoy the triumphs, struggles, and personal histories of these women. If you need an engrossing read for your next summer road trip or a book to entertain you as you soak up the sun here at home, check out Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling or any of the other great wrestling or sports books at the Sioux City Public Library.    

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Support for Check It Out comes from Avery Brothers.