Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts Hardcover – Feb 16 2012
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"A biography that fully captures its dynamic subject and her greatest accomplishment." — Boston Globe
"Stacy Cordery's engaging portrait . . . paints a charming picture of Daisy as a warm-hearted force of nature." — Chicago Tribune
"Cordery . . . has written a detailed and well-researched book. She shows Low to be a strong woman ahead of her time." — The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Of the three books pegged to the Girl Scouts' 100th, the most engaging by far is Stacy A. Cordery's Juliette Gordon Low. Ms. Cordery gives us the unexpurgated life—one that might make you want to shield the eyes of the nearest Brownie Scout but one that also lends depth and color to the American Girl Scouts founder's story. Ms. Cordery uses a wealth of historical detail to animate both an era and the author's flawed, sometimes exasperating but generally appealing subject. . . . The merit badge here goes to Stacy Cordery's biography." — The Wall Street Journal
"Cordery's extensive biography fully explores the complex and intricate life of Low." — Deseret News
"Delightful." — BookPage
"This biography brings to life the woman whose efforts galvanized an entire nation of young women. 'Long Live Girl Scouts!' may be the cry on readers' lips after finishing this tribute to a spirited and inspirational American leader." — Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Stacy A. Cordery is chairman of the history department at Monmouth College in Illinois and is the author of Theodore Roosevelt: In the Vanguard of the Modern. She is the bibliographer for the National First Ladies’ Library. This is her third book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Daisy Gordon was born in Savannah just before the American Civil War began. Hers was an interesting childhood, as part of a close-knit family of some means. Hard work, accompanied by charity and volunteerism, were the expectations of life for the Gordons. Daisy was able to attend good schools, make close friends, and do a bit of international traveling before she married Englishman William Mackay Low, a man who can now be seen to have been an absolute cad. (Alas, Miss Gordon's head could always be turned by a handsome man in uniform.) Had she lived in our generation, Daisy could have more quickly removed herself from a dreadful situation that lingered for 20 years. But divorce was not an easy task to accomplish in Victorian and post-Victorian England. Her ties were finally released when Willy died in 1905. At last she could finally be herself and find herself, at the ripe old age of 45.
And yet: If she hadn't married Willy, moved to England, and made all sorts of important contacts there, she might never have stumbled into the circumstances that led her to meet General Sir Robert Baden-Powell in May 1911. The Boy Scout movement in England was growing around that Boer War veteran. Daisy soon found her calling with the Girl Guides (the female equivalent) in that country ... and then figured out a way to organize such a group in Savannah, within a year of meeting Baden-Powell. The local initiative in her hometown grew into the establishment of more patrols throughout the country. And "the rest is history."
Cordery has done much research, especially on Daisy's family tree, as well as the genealogies of many of the other individuals in Daisy's path. Some readers will find these details intriguing; others may wonder how they relate to the subject of the biography. Daisy doesn't start the Girl Scouting movement on this side of the pond until we're two-thirds of the way through the book. If that's the only part you're interested in, you'll have a way to go to get there.
Still, this narrative makes for good reading. Daisy Low can be a role model for anyone. She recuperated from a bad marriage. She coped with varying degrees of deafness almost all of her life. And she started an organization that has lasted a century! The fact that she persevered is to be celebrated as much as the Girl Scout program itself. Without Daisy Low, I wouldn't have an old green badge sash lying in my top bureau drawer. And I'll bet I'm not the only woman who can say that.
I found the book interesting, yet at times it seemed to long. It read as a history book with lots of facts and dates. I would have enjoyed a more story-type book. But overall I found it to be well written and engaging.