July 4, 2020

Great Lives Series Continues with Tiger Woods, D-Day Girls

The 17th season of the William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series continues this evening, Jan. 23, with a look at PGA Champion and one of the greatest golfers of all time, Tiger Woods. This series is open to the public free of charge and no admission tickets are required. Programs begin at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall. Each lecture concludes with an audience Q&A session with the speaker and a book-signing. The sPower Lecture.

In their 2018 New York Times bestselling biography Tiger Woods, authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian wrote that “in 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendental star of almost unfathomable fame and fortune, living what appeared to be the perfect life. Married to a Swedish beauty and the father of two young children, he was the winner of fourteen major golf championships and earning more than 100 million dollars annually. But it was all a carefully crafted illusion. As it turned out, Woods had been living a double life for years – one that unraveled in the aftermath of a Thanksgiving night car crash that exposed his serial infidelity and sent his personal and professional lives over a cliff.”

In their book, based on hundreds of interviews with people from every facet of Woods’ life, and extensive and careful research, the authors have uncovered new and surprising details about the man behind the myth. The resulting biography—upon which Benedict’s presentation is based—presents a sweeping, revealing, and defining biography of an American icon.

The Great Lives series will continue on Tuesday, Jan. 28 with D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II, with author Sarah Rose. The Chancellor’s Village Lecture.

In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was fighting. Churchill believed Britain was locked in an existential battle and created a secret agency, the Special Operations Executive (SOE), whose spies were trained in everything from demolition to sharp-shooting. Their job, he declared, was “to set Europe ablaze!” But with most men on the frontlines, the SOE did something unprecedented: it recruited women. Thirty-nine women answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France. Half were caught, and a third did not make it home alive.

Sarah Rose draws on recently declassified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the story of three of these women. There’s Odette Sansom, a young mother who feels suffocated by domestic life and sees the war as her ticket out; Lise de Baissac, an unflappable aristocrat with the mind of a natural leader; and Andrée Borrel, the streetwise organizer of the Paris Resistance. Together, they derailed trains, blew up weapons caches, destroyed power and phone lines, and gathered crucial intelligence—laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion that proved to be the turning point in the war.