Roll Red Roll

By Nancy Schwartzman

Roll Red Roll book cover
Added March 8, 2023

A thoughtfully reported narrative about a rape case at the center of a deeply polarized steel town in the American Midwest, exploring what creates a culture where sexual violence is tacitly understood and condoned, and how to make a difference. On a summer night in 2012, a sixteen year-old girl incapacitated by alcohol was repeatedly assaulted by Steubenville, Ohio high school football stars, all of it documented on Twitter, YouTube, and through text and voice messages. Like everyone else in Steubenville, Jane Doe learned of the crimes committed on her body via social media. Many of the photos and videos from that night were deleted, but not before being captured and shared by a crime blogger, after which they went viral--putting Steubenville on the national stage. In Roll Red Roll, Nancy Schwartzman offers a broader understanding of rape culture, weaving memory and new testimony from a decade's research into the event and town, taking readers beyond Steubenville to look at America as a whole. Roll Red Roll unpacks the factors that create communities which engender systemic disdain for women and normalize sexual assault. Schwartzman proposes ways to unlearn the norms of a society that too often sacrifices its daughters for the sake of protecting its sons.

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