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Roll Red Roll

Rape, Power, and Football in the American Heartland

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around July 12, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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Jul 12, 2022




An incisive narrative about a teen rape case that divided a Rust Belt town, exposing the hostile and systemic undercurrents that enable sexual violence, and spotlighting ways to make change.

In football-obsessed Steubenville, Ohio, on a summer night in 2012, an incapacitated sixteen-year-old girl was repeatedly assaulted by members of the “Big Red” high school football team. They took turns documenting the crime and sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The victim, Jane Doe, learned the details via social media at a time when teens didn’t yet understand the lasting trail of their digital breadcrumbs. Crime blogger Alexandria Goddard, along with hacker collective Anonymous, exposed the photos, Tweets, and videos, making this the first rape case ever to go viral and catapulting Steubenville onto the national stage.

Filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman spent four years embedded in the town, documenting the case and its reverberations. Ten years after the assault, Roll Red Roll is the culmination of that research, weaving in new interviews and personal reflections to take readers beyond Steubenville to examine rape culture in everything from sports to teen dynamics. Roll Red Roll explores the factors that normalize  sexual assault in our communities. Through inter-views with sportswriter David Zirin, victim’s rights attorney Gloria Allred and more, Schwartzman untangles the societal norms in which we too often sacrifice our daughters to protect our sons. With the Steubenville case as a flashpoint that helped spark the #MeToo movement, a decade later, Roll Red Roll focuses on the perpetrators and asks, can our society truly change?


“Nancy Schwartzman has given us the gift of an immersive, gripping narrative that thoughtfully explores the cultural rot behind one of the twenty-first century’s most notorious cases of sexual violence (so far). Roll Red Roll documents not just a shocking episode of violence and its aftermath but a germinal moment in our recent cultural history, one that pointed the way to #MeToo. This is true crime you’ll never have to apologize for loving.”—Kate Harding, author of Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture—And What We Can Do About It
“What Nancy Schwartzman does with Roll Red Roll is not only provide a necessary examination of pressing issues, but a compelling one. This book dives deep into the American political and social landscape to wrestle with issues of power, misogyny, and problems both apparent and disturbingly hidden. By the end, it changes the way you look at the world. It should be widely read and discussed—we'd all be better off for it.”—Jared Yates Sexton, author of American Rule: How A Nation Conquered the World But Failed Its People
Roll Red Roll reads like a riveting true crime story while the reader is being carefully led through a masterful assessment of the root causes of rape culture….A must-read.”—Dr. Caroline Heldman, Executive Director of The Representation Project, Chair of Critical Theory & Social Justice, Chair of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at Occidental College
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