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Courting Danger: My Adventures in World-Class Tennis, Golden-Age Hollywood, and High-Stakes Spying Hardcover – May, 1991

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The late Marble, America's top woman tennis player in the late 1930s, had a singularly eventful life. Writing with Spur editor Leatherman, she tells of her roller-coaster court career, shepherded by her tyrannical mentor, Eleanor Tennant. A Californian and beautiful, Marble was taken up by the movie community and, as a frequent guest at William Randolph Hearst's castle, met the big stars, becoming close friends with Carole Lombard and Clark Gable. Raped at age 15, she avoided sexual situations until an affair with a Swiss banker, which Tennant broke up. During WW II she married an Army officer who was killed in Germany shortly after she had miscarried their child. Marble then became a spy, and by assignment renewed the affair with her Swiss lover, who was a suspected conduit for Nazi money sent out of the Third Reich. But her mission was thwarted by a double agent. There is nary a dull moment in this fast-moving, glamorous tale. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Marble, who died earlier this year, is probably not well known today, but in international tennis and social circles of the 1930s, she was in demand. She was the top-ranked female tennis player in America from 1936-1940, winning five Wimbledon and 12 U.S. Open titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Her public life was filled with success. However, her private life was another matter. Fatherless at six, raped at 15, and diagnosed with tuberculosis at 19 right at the threshold of her tennis career, Marble thought she had finally found happiness with her marriage and pregnancy. But within months of one another, she miscarried due to an auto accident and lost her husband in World War II. Amazingly undaunted, Marble used this loss to spur herself into spying for the U.S. Army, seeking out a past lover in order to learn the names of high-ranking Nazis. The anecdotes will satisfy celebrity gossip mavens; Marble's hair-raising exploits as a spy will please those who like Countess Aline and Beryl Markham; and the inherent melodrama of this remarkable woman's life will lure lovers of romance. This is lots of fun; and take note, Jessica Lange and Farrah Fawcett are among the actresses trying to obtain the film rights.
- Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Seaside, Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031205839X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312058395
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As a avid reader of Tennis history and the in particular the sport's legends, the players who significantly influenced it's evolution throughout history. That said, my all-time favorites include: The Game by Bruce Schoenfeld; The Courts of Babylon by Peter Bodo; The Rivals by Johnette Howard; Open by Andre Agassi and most recently Rod Laver: A Memoir by Rod Laver.

Having finished reading Ms. Marble's memoirs around a month ago, I find myself reflecting upon her story and the myriad of fascinating, heartbreaking, remarkable yet mostly inspiring aspects which ultimately underpinned this grossly under-celebrated United States Tennis Champion and human being. I admit, I had only a vague idea of Alice Marble's place among tennis elite, based solely on major championship titles she won during her reign at the top, a time in history which coincided with the devastation of WWII.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough and imagine it's one I will reread at some point in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Remy on September 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a tennis pro who is very familiar with the history of the sport. This is ABSOLUTELY one of the best tennis books I have ever read. SO INTERESTING! Combines Nazi intrigue, WW II history. history of tennis, and it's a TRUE STORY! This is just an awesome book on every level! I don't enjoy reading that much but this is one of my all time favorite books! The story is just amazing to think that this was part of the history of our sport. MUST READ!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My husband and I read this book as an item for our tennis club's book club. Alice Marble is one of the greatest US tennis players in history. This book is a marvelous read: We couldn't put the book aside. Marble is very frank about her struggles to overcome poverty, to remove racial bias in the sport, and to deal with the horrors of sexual violence, World War II, and terrible personal losses. She did this all while incessantly working to learn--first to win, then to keep her game in shape despite major setbacks, to contribute to the WWII war effort as a spy, and to lead a rewarding life in retirement. Alice Marble had a photographic memory and the graphic details in this book make it especially compelling. Even a person with little knowledge of tennis would find this book fascinating.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the most interesting and tragic lives since Job, and should be required reading for all high school seniors of both sexes. It is a true story of determination, talent, luck and accomplishment that defined the "greatest generation." Alice Marble was one of the great champions of tennis, both on the court and in the world She fought for respect towards homosexuals and equal opportunity for minorities and women. She is an inspiration, and an example of the true American spirit.
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By Amazon Customer on January 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I picked this up on kindle unlimited and am glad that amazon offers a wide range of topics as well as quality books in their selection. The book was a fast paced story of Alice Marble's life during one of the most turbulent periods in history. She is a woman of remarkable loyalties, endurance and personal strength and a pioneer in women tennis. Though there were many errors in spelling/incorrect word substitution closer to the end of the book, it was good reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition
What an amazing lady!! A renowned tennis star; WWll spy; friend to presidents, movie stars like Clark Gable and the very wealthy (William Randolph Hearst). She did it all. Not just for tennis buffs, Dale Leatherman's "as told to" book is a well written, fast moving biography of one of the most fascinating sports stars in our country's history. This book would make a terrific movie.
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By Terri K on June 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for my mom as she had fond memories of meeting this famous tennis player when she was young. I did not read the book personally, just excerpts. It appeared to be well written and her life quite exciting. My mother loved the book!!
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