Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling - ECW Press

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling

Laprade, Pat, Dan Murphy

  • A behind-the-scenes look at over a century of female wrestling, with profiles and photos, documenting the rise of women’s wrestling from sideshow to WWE main event

    Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is absolutely a must read for most fans . . .” Wrestle Book Review

    From the carnival circuit of the late 1800s to today’s main events, this book offers a look at the business of women’s wrestling with its backstage politics, real-life grudges, and incredible personalities. With more than one hundred profiles, you’ll learn about the careers of many well-known trailblazers and stars of today, including Mildred Burke, the Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Penny Banner, Wendi Richter, Trish Stratus, Chyna, Lita, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Bayley.

    With rare photographs and an exploration of women’s wrestling worldwide — including chapters on Japan, Mexico, England, and Australia — Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is a priceless contribution to the history of professional wrestling.


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  • Pat Laprade has been involved in pro wrestling for 15 years and has contributed to many women’s wrestling promotions, including SHIMMER and Femmes Fatales. He co-wrote Wrestling Observer’s 2013 book of the year Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs as well as a biography of Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon. He lives in Montreal, Quebec. Dan Murphy has been a writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated since 1997 and has overseen PWI’s annual female 50 ranking since its inception in 2008. He lives in Buffalo and has written four books on the history of his native western New York. Trained in the legendary Hart Dungeon, Natalya is a former WWE Women’s Champion. She lives in Tampa, Florida.

  • Published: April 2017

    ISBN: 9781770413078

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 384

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“I remember years ago I was at the Cauliflower Alley Club and Paul Boesch pointed out Clara Mortensen to me, saying she was the world champion of women’s wrestling before Mildred Burke. At that time, most people didn’t know there was women’s wrestling before Moolah. Boesch told me about names that almost nobody knew or remembered. Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy, in their book, change all that, as they tell the story of how women’s wrestling was born, grew, changed, and had its ups and downs all over the world. Sisterhood of the Squared Circle tells you about the stars of today who you may know and the stars who built the sport but are mostly unknown to modern fans.” — Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer

“A concise, yet encyclopedic compendium of the past, present, and future of women’s wrestling, Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is an essential addition to the home libraries of astute wrestling aficionados. We give it 4.5 out of five suplexes.” — Pro Wrestling Illustrated

“Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy’s Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is full of anecdotes and trivia from over a century of wrestling.” — National Post

“All of the women they feature are written as the powerful, respected warriors that they were then and are now. . . Fighting ‘like a girl’ never sounded so good.” — SLAM! Wrestling

“Informative, entertaining and at times, even heart wrenching, Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is mandatory reading not just for wrestling fans but for everyone. . . Through original interviews and previous research, with a great assist from the critically acclaimed Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling documentary, Laprade and Murphy have made an essential contribution to pro wrestling." —

“The new book is organized as a series of short biographies of key players; when taken together, they form a tapestry that covers the entire industry.” — Orlando Sentinel

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle  is an essential entry in the historiography of women's wrestling, breathing new life into voices that could all too easily have been lost. — I Maintain The Double Foot Stomp Is Silly blog

“Laprade and Murphy have both written extensively about wrestling and their knowledge shows. They have a clear passion for women’s wrestling and have as much interest in modern wrestling as they do in classic wrestling, so the book will appeal to younger fans. . . Laprade and Murphy have a thorough handle on their subject and have produced a valuable resource for anyone interested in the complicated and still changing world of women’s wrestling.” — PopMatters

“Any fan of the sport will find a new appreciation for the feminine aspect of wrestling.” — Shelf Life

“Laprade and Murphy, both veteran wrestling journalists, do an excellent job guiding readers chronologically through the ups and downs of women’s wrestling … Fascinating sports history.” — Booklist

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is absolutely a must read for most fans … it is more than likely — and justifiably so — to be at or very near the top of the best wrestling books of the year … Laprade is becoming one of the top tier authors in the pro wrestling genre.” — Wrestle Book Review

“If there was a Master degree class on women's wrestling, Laprade and Murphy's book would be its textbook.” — All Wrestling

“Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy have delivered one of the most enjoyable and educational wrestling books I've read in a while. . . Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is a solid book and a must read for fans who love the history of this business.” — Eat Sleep Wrestle

“When Laprade and Murphy delve into the history of Women's Professional Wrestling we see that the characters and stories are at least as fascinating as their male counterparts. With over a hundred wrestler profiles this is a must read for anyone who ever loved wrestling.” — The Interrobang

“This is an excellent piece for anyone interested in WWE's current female revolution.” — Whatculture, #8 in a list of “10 Recent Wrestling Books You Must Read”

“Even if you have never seen a wrestling match in your life, you'll enjoy the triumphs, struggles, and personal histories of these women. If you need an engrossing read for your next summer road trip, or a book to entertain you as you soak up the sun here at home, check out Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Women's Wrestling.” — ​KWIT 90.3FM Sioux City Check It Out radio show

“. . . undoubtably well-written and comprehensive in scope . . .” — Fighting Life Magazine

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is brilliantly researched by Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy, and their love and respect for these women and their history is evident . . . Pat and Dan have given us a history lesson in an entertaining, meticulously researched, and well-written book.” —