Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman
Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World

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Synopsis

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly, the crusading young female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper, left New York City by steamship on a quest to break the record for the fastest trip around the world. Also departing from New York that day—and heading in the opposite direction by train—was a young journalist from The Cosmopolitan magazine, Elizabeth Bisland. Each woman was determined to outdo Jules Verne’s fictional hero Phileas Fogg and circle the globe in less than eighty days. The dramatic race that ensued would span twenty-eight thousand miles, captivate the nation, and change both competitors’ lives forever.
 
The two women were a study in contrasts. Nellie Bly was a scrappy, hard-driving, ambitious reporter from Pennsylvania coal country who sought out the most sensational news stories, often going undercover to expose social injustice. Genteel and elegant, Elizabeth Bisland had been born into an aristocratic Southern family, preferred novels and poetry to newspapers, and was widely referred to as the most beautiful woman in metropolitan journalism. Both women, though, were talented writers who had carved out successful careers in the hypercompetitive, male-dominated world of big-city newspapers. Eighty Days brings these trailblazing women to life as they race against time and each other, unaided and alone, ever aware that the slightest delay could mean the difference between victory and defeat.
 
A vivid real-life re-creation of the race and its aftermath, from its frenzied start to the nail-biting dash at its finish, Eighty Days is history with the heart of a great adventure novel. Here’s the journey that takes us behind the walls of Jules Verne’s Amiens estate, into the back alleys of Hong Kong, onto the grounds of a Ceylon tea plantation, through storm-tossed ocean crossings and mountains blocked by snowdrifts twenty feet deep, and to many more unexpected and exotic locales from London to Yokohama. Along the way, we are treated to fascinating glimpses of everyday life in the late nineteenth century—an era of unprecedented technological advances, newly remade in the image of the steamship, the railroad, and the telegraph. For Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland—two women ahead of their time in every sense of the word—were not only racing around the world. They were also racing through the very heart of the Victorian age.

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“What a story! What an extraordinary historical adventure!”—Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire
 
“A fun, fast, page-turning action-adventure . . . the exhilarating journey of two pioneering women, Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland, as they race around the globe.”—Karen Abbott, author of American Rose
 
“[A] marvelous tale of adventure . . . The story of these two pioneering women unfolds amid the excitement, setbacks, crises, missed opportunities and a global trek unlike any other in its time. . . . Why would you want to miss out on the incredible journey that takes you to the finish line page after nail-biting page?”—Chicago Sun-Times (Best Books of the Year)
 
“In a stunning feat of narrative nonfiction, Matthew Goodman brings the nineteenth century to life, tracing the history of two intrepid journalists as they tackled two male-dominated fields—world travel and journalism—in an era of incredible momentum.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 

About Matthew Goodman

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MATTHEW GOODMAN has an M.A. in creative writing and has been the recipient of two MacDowell fellowships and one from Yaddo. He has taught writing at numerous universities and workshops. He is the author of two previous nonfiction books, The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York, published by Basic Books, chosen as one of The Economist's Best Books of 2008, and Jewish Food: The World at Table, published in 2005 by HarperCollins.


Author Residence: Brooklyn, NY


Author Hometown: Great Neck, Long Island
 
Published February 26, 2013 by Ballantine Books. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Travel, Action & Adventure, Sports & Outdoors, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A richly detailed double narrative of the adventures of two young women journalists in a race against time, each striving to be the first to travel around the world in 75 days, outdoing the fictional Phileas Fogg's 80 days.

Jan 21 2013 | Read Full Review of Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and E...

Publishers Weekly

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Two pioneering women hurtle across the globe—and into a changing future—in this stimulating true-life adventure story. Historian Goodman (The Sun and the Moon) follows the 1889 voyages of Nellie Bly,

Oct 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and E...

Star Tribune

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This is fully documented history, drawing on contemporary accounts, letters and the women’s own writing, but Goodman turns it into a delightful page-turner, emphasizing the thrill of the race and the contrast between the

Feb 23 2013 | Read Full Review of Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and E...

Los Angeles Review of Books

When her editors at the New York World asked Nellie Bly to write about a trip around the world, they were really just boomeranging back an idea she’d thrown their way a year earlier.

Apr 05 2013 | Read Full Review of Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and E...

http://www.lareviewofbooks.org

When her editors at the New York World asked Nellie Bly to write about a trip around the world, they were really just boomeranging back an idea she’d thrown their way a year earlier.

Apr 05 2013 | Read Full Review of Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and E...

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