Monday, April 2, 2012

Juliette Gordon Low : The Remarkable Founder Of The Girl Scouts
by Stacy A. Cordery

Juliette Gordon Low was born during the Civil War. She grew up in Savannah where education, culture and duty was stressed. Juliette, known as Daisy, was extremely extroverted and very popular in school. She was quite talented in art: painting, sculpture, illustration, to name a few. Daisy also excelled in shooting, fishing, hiking, building campfires (all of these attributes would be used in her future).
She would marry a man named William Mackay Low (her parents did not like him), an aristocratic Englishman who inherited his father's wealth. He ended up being quite a louse and she planned to divorce him, but he died before that happened.
Daisy could not ever sit still and wanted to do something that had some kind of purpose. When she met Robert Baden-Powell, in Britain (who created the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides), she knew that she had found her calling. Returning to the United States, Daisy would, single-handedly, form the Girl Scouts and led the organization for eight years.
The best part of this book is the first two thirds when you read about Daisy's life, her struggles with her health (she had hearing loss), her personality, her strengths, her joie de vivre. Ironically, as soon as the Girl Scouts materialized, the writing became plodding and boring with too many statistics and names. I thought about not continuing because it was driving me crazy, but finished it anyway. Even the ending is flat.
I had recommended the book to a friend early on before I had hit the uninteresting parts. I almost feel guilty since the latter section is just awful.
The author is a history professor so there's an inordinate amount of details that you have to slough through and that is what drags this book down, which is unfortunate.