Start by Believing

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

Read if you: Want a hard-hitting, poignant, infuriating, and moving exploration of the Larry Nassar/USA Gymnastics abuse crisis. 

In the past year or so, several books have been published regarding the USA Gymnastics abuse crisis. John Barr and Dan Murphy (both ESPN reporters) present a succinct, devastating, and revealing account of how this crisis was preventable, ignored, and excused for years, This is a must read for anyone who wants a further explanation of the crisis. The 2020 Summer Olympics will be the first Olympics in which everyone has full knowledge of the inexcusable actions of USA Gymnastics, so renewed attention on these crimes will be likely; this would be an excellent primer beforehand. 

Many thanks to Hachette Books and Netgalley for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
"Start By Believing" is a powerful investigation of the system that produced and protected child abusers of all kinds--sexual, emotional, physical. The book dives deep--this isn't just a story about Larry Nassar, but about how the gymnastics community had been on notice for a long time that there were abusive practices in place. The book (with a very clear nod to previous public critics, including, but not limited to, Joan Ryan and Dominique Moceanu) shows us the persistent moral failure of USA Gymnastics to protect its athletes. Against a backdrop where young women and girls were being emotionally destroyed, starved, and not allowed time to recover from devastating injuries, it is no wonder that they were easy prey for the vile tactics of Larry Nassar. The authors show us as well the many women whose courage and empathy ultimately took down Nassar and his closest protectors. What I particularly appreciated was a note at the very end--how, in interviewing a survivor, the writers realized suddenly that these women had come forward while knowing fully well that this step would make them relieve their hell and reawaken their suffering. The authors' awareness of the survivors' strength, their testimony to the many times these women tried to gain justice, and their ultimate message to the world--to believe victims--makes the book a powerful read.
Was this review helpful?
This was a wonderful book that fully explains the underbelly of a sport that on the surface appears so innocent and healthy.  Very thoroughly the author tells the story of Dr. Larry Nassar, his crimes against so many innocent young athletes and so many others, as well as those who enabled him.  This book will have you cheering the victims even more than you did when they were performing on the mats.
Was this review helpful?