Praise for Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle
"One of the most distinctive (books) written on racing, and one of the best. Guthrie was no ordinary driver ... and she is no ordinary writer." - Sports Illustrated
"Run, do not walk, to your bookstore." - The Sporting News
"A refreshing peek at a history of racing nicely crafted by an author who does not rely on a ghostwriter." - Auto Week
"What a story ... about the time when the macho-machine world of driving was horrified that a woman should try to join them." - Chicago Sun Times
"Her book is exceptional for the time and care she has taken with it." - National Public Radio
"This book is must reading for female athletes who owe a debt of gratitude to women such as Guthrie and King. And it is so enlightening that every sports fan should give it a try." - Orlando Sentinel
Forward written by Billie Jean King
There has never been a racecar driver like Janet Guthrie. If you doubt that, try coming up with the name of any other graduate of Miss Harris’ Florida School for Girls who has gone on to rev an Offenhauser engine on the starting grid at the Indianapolis 500.
From her birth in Iowa to her early days growing up in Florida, to a stint in NASA’s astronaut training program, and on through two decades spent hanging out at racing tracks all over North America, Guthrie always danced well beyond the bright lights of convention. She soloed for the first time in an airplane at 16, on way to becoming a pilot, flight instructor and an aerospace engineer. Always an adventurer, never a follower, forever a pioneer, Guthrie was the first woman to race at the Indy 500 (her helmet and racing suit are in the Smithsonian Institution) and the Daytona 500.
In her own carefully-crafted words, Guthrie tells her story from the very beginning. Nearly two decades in the gestation and writing, Lady and Gentlemen succeeds by first capturing in poignant detail the complexity of the racing business and the essence of the racing life, particularly in terms of what it’s like to steer the most powerful racecars on earth down a straightaway at 230 miles per hour.
The most famous and successful female driver ever to pull on a fire suit eloquently recounts the barriers she overcame in the 1970s to become a female success story in a sport fueled as much by machismo as gasoline, recalling the senses of isolation and of deep frustration and, to be sure, the moments of sheer joy and exhilaration that were also part and parcel of her journey.
Ultimately, Guthrie, who remains a media and network favorite whenever the subject of women in sports hits the news, emerges as a genuine and heart-felt voice for the legions of female pioneers, an Amelia Earhart for the modern age.
Janet Guthrie ran in two Indianapolis 500s, finishing ninth in 1978, and in 33 NASCAR races between 1976 and 1980. She does extensive keynote speaking and, among many television credits, are more than a dozen appearances on Good Morning America. A charter member of the Women's Sports Foundation and International Women's Sports Hall of Fame, Guthrie resides today in Aspen, Colorado.
- 404 pages
- 6 x 9
- 8-page color photo insert
- SPORTClassic Books
- Printed in Canada
- Published in 2005
More Praise for Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle
"This is Guthrie's own eloquent and well-conceived memoir of an adventure-filled life spent racing 'because I could not do otherwise.' Written in narrative style and reading like a novel, this book spans her early life through her historic finish at Indianapolis. ... She is very good at expressing the complexity of her thoughts and emotions as a driver, especially in describing how she honed her mind and senses to the car and its response to the racetrack. Given her significance in U.S. auto racing, this entertaining book is highly recommended for racing and women's studies collections."
David Van de Streek, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, in Library Journal
"Guthrie, who has lived quietly in Colorado since the early 1980s, demonstrates her flair with words in her autobiography, Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle. ... she has pulled off another triumph."
- Nelson Price, Indianapolis Star
"Not often in American sports books does one find a writer whose work rises so far above the commonplace that it aspires to the realms of literature; but, in her magnificent autobiography, A Life at Full Throttle, Janet Guthrie has written a classic. The memorable story-telling aside, what makes this book sing is the haunting voice of the writer. Swept along by her rhythmic style, it is by turns bright, literate, depressed, witty, romantic, poetic, rational, sweet, irrational, angry, lyrical, and loving. And always, it is a voice that is wildly, jubilantly, competitive. This is now one of sports literature's all time best books."
William Nack, veteran Sports Illustrated writer, and author of Secretariat: The Making of a Champion, and My Turf: Horses, Boxers, Blood Money and the Sporting Life
"This isn't the tale of a feminist campaign to force open doors. Janet just wanted to race, and the barriers fell through her intellect and skill. Her book provides a unique perspective on both Indy racing and NASCAR. If you love racing, you'll love this book."
Paul Page, for 25 years the ABC-TV and world-wide radio Voice of the Indianapolis 500
"Janet demonstrated with each 'first' she accomplished that she was a racer who not only could compete with the men, but would compete with the men. Janet is a racer and, indeed, she is a lady!"
Johnny Rutherford, three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500
"Janet's book is a 'must read.' It's as exciting as she is. Whatta woman! She has ventured into a man's world and showed a number of them how it is done."
Andy Granatelli, auto racing legend
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