The book traces the history of professional rowing in America and the careers of champion professional rowers John and Barney Biglin. Before baseball, professional rowing was America’s most popular and lucrative sport, but it was ruined by foul play. Reckless betting, greedy financiers and easily corrupted athletes forged the first national sports scandal, and professional rowing was finally banned.
In 1872, Thomas Eakins portrayed the Biglin brothers in a series of dramatic paintings as they raced on the Schuylkill in Philadelphia. That same year, the U.S. Rowing Association of amateurs, now headquartered in Princeton, was established. By the 20th century, the sport became purely amateur and now has more women than men rowing competitively. Lanouette’s talk explores this rich and rowdy history. He also reveals how Eakins’ artistry captured both professionals and amateurs in vivid action.
William Lanouette has been on staff at Newsweek, The National Observer and National Journal and was Washington correspondent for The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His freelance writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Civilization, The Economist, The New York Herald Tribune, Scientific American, Smithsonian and The Washington Post.
This program is presented in partnership with the Princeton University Art Museum and Labyrinth Books.
Labyrinth Books will offer a 10% discount in conjunction with this event. Please enter the discount code: Lanouette.