Start By Believing: Larry Nassar’s Crimes, the Institutions That Enabled Him, and the Brave Women Who Stopped a Monster

John Barr and Dan Murphy. Hachette, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-53215-0
In this hard-hitting exposé, Peabody Award–winning ESPN reporters Barr and Murphy recount the rise and notorious fall of Larry Nassar, a Michigan State University sports physician who went to prison in 2018 for sexually assaulting hundreds of women and girls while allegedly treating their injuries. In this disturbing portrait, Nasser is an insidious predator, friendly and ingratiating, who disguised his assaults as legitimate procedures while using his medical reputation to dismiss victims’ accusation. Empowering him, the authors show, was the gymnastics industry itself, which demanded girls’ unquestioning obedience to tyrannical and sometimes violent coaches, brutal practice regimens, and weight restrictions that fostered injuries that Nassar treated with pain-killers and “massages”; meanwhile, the sport’s governing organization, USA Gymnastics, covered up abuse complaints against Nassar and others. Foregrounding several women who finally brought charges, Barr and Murphy vividly convey the sense of confusion and helplessness that beset victims as their claims met with patronizing disbelief, sometimes from their own parents. The result is a searing indictment of a child molester and the culture of silence and submission that abetted him. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/04/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-316-53213-6
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-316-53211-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-0313-1
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