Women of Courage

I Love a Broad Margin to My Life

By Maxine Hong Kingston

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"In her singular voice 'humble, elegiac, practical,' Maxine Hong Kingston sets out to reflect on aging as she turns sixty-five. Kingston's swift, effortlessly flowing verse lines feel instantly natural in this fresh approach to the art of memoir, as she circles from present to past and back, from lunch with a writer friend to the funeral of a Vietnam veteran, from her long marriage ('can't divorce until we get it right. / Love, that is. Get love right') to her arrest at a peace march in Washington, where she and her 'sisters' protested the Iraq war in the George W. Bush years. Kingston embraces Thoreau's notion of a 'broad margin,' hoping to expand her vista: 'I'm standing on top of a hill; / I can see everywhichway / the long way that I came, and the few / places I have yet to go. Treat / my whole life as if it were a day.'

"On her journeys as writer, peace activist, teacher, and mother, Kingston revisits her most beloved characters: she learns the final fate of her Woman Warrior, and she takes her Tripmaster Monkey, a hip Chinese American, on a journey through China, where he has never been, a trip that becomes a beautiful meditation on the country then and now, on a culture where rice farmers still work in the age-old way, even as a new era is dawning. 'All over China,' she writes, 'and places where Chinese are, populations / are on the move, going home. That home / where Mother and Father are buried. Doors / between heaven and earth open wide.' Such is the spirit of this wonderful book; a sense of doors opening wide onto an American life of great purpose and joy, and the tonic wisdom of a writer we have come to cherish."

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Illustrated History of Women

By Irene M. Franck, David M. Brownstone

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Presents a history of women around the world from earliest times (prehistory to 499 AD) to the present day (1998). A 10-volume set.

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Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America

By Karenna Gore Schiff

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"This inspirational look at nine women who changed modern America profiles Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mother Jones, Alice Hamilton, Frances Perkins, Virginia Durr, Septima Clark, Dolores Huerta, Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, and Gretchen Buchenholz--women who in their own ways tackled inequity and advocated change."

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Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage

By Jeff Benedict

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Susette Kelo was just trying to rebuild her life when she purchased an old house perched on the waterfront in New London, Conn. It wasn't fancy, but with hard work she was able to turn it into a home that was important to her. Little did she know that the City of New London, desperate to revive its flailing economy, wanted to raze her house and others along the waterfront in order to win a lucrative Pfizer pharmaceutical contract that would bring new business into the city. Kelo and fourteen neighbors refused to sell, so the city decided to exercise its power of eminent domain to condemn their homes, launching a case that ultimately reached the Supreme Court. Investigative journalist Jeff Benedict takes us behind the scenes of this case, and Kelo speaks for the first time about how one woman took on corporate America to save her home.
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Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)

By Kathleen Krull

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"...turns the spotlight on women who have wielded power, revealing their feats--and flaws--for all the world to see. Here you'll find twenty of the most influential women in history: queens, warriors, prime ministers, first ladies, revolutionary leaders. Some are revered. Others are notorious. What were they really like? In this grand addition to their highly praised series, Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt celebrate some of the world's most noteworthy women, ranging from the famous to those whose stories have rarely been told." Features twenty extraordinary women:

Cleopatra -- Eleanor of Aquitaine -- Joan of Arc -- Isabella I -- Elizabeth I -- Nzingha -- Catherine the Great -- Marie Antoinette -- Victoria -- Harriet Tubman -- Tz'u-hsi -- Gertrude Bell -- Jeannette Rankin -- Eleanor Roosevelt -- Golda Meir -- Indira Gandhi -- Eva Peron -- Wilma Mankiller -- Aung San Suu Kyi -- Rigoberta Menchu.

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Love, Lucy

By Lucille Ball

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Lucille Ball wrote this book in the years leading up to 1964 and put it aside to avoid hurting Desi Arnaz. How fortunate we are that it has been found and published. It describes the many years of hard work that it took for her to become the star that we knew.

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Marie Curie: A Life

By Susan Quinn

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Details the politics and prejudice of the society surrounding Marie Curie, whose study of radioactivity was a watershed of scientific discovery.

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Mayada: Daughter of Iraq: One Woman's Survival under Saddam Hussein

By Jean P. Sasson

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"Mayada was born into a powerful Iraqi family. One grandfather fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia. The other is acclaimed as the first true Arab nationalist. Her uncle was Prime Minister for nearly forty years, her mother an important politician. When Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party seized power, and instituted his reign of terror, Mayada found herself alone in Baghdad, a divorced parent of two children, earning a meagre living printing brochures. Until one morning in August 1999 when she was summarily arrested and dragged to the notorious Baladiyat Prison, falsely accused of printing anti-government propaganda.

"There she was thrown into a cell with 17 'shadow women'. Like latter-day Sherezades, these women passed their days, while waiting for the next interrogation and torture session, telling each other their stories. They were eager to hear Mayada's stories of her privileged former life, of the history of her proud family, of kings and queens, of meetings with Saddam himself. Not only the story of a woman intimately connected to Iraq's cultured, ancient history, this book is a powerful witness to the terror and horror wrought by Saddam on the lives and souls of its ordinary citizens."

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No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

By Condoleezza Rice

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Rice shares her unique perspective on the most consequential political, diplomatic, and security issues of the administration. In her own words, she describes the harrowing terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and chronicles her experience of appearing before the 9/11 Commission, for which she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness. She also reveals new details about the contentious debates in the lead-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: An Illustrated History

By Geoffrey C. Ward

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"With contributions by noted historians Ann D. Gordon and Ellen Carol Dubois, and dozens of evocative contemporary photographs, Not for Ourselves Alone provides a view of the suffrage movement through the eyes of the women who fought hardest for it. 'We are sowing winter wheat,' Stanton confided to her diary, 'which the coming spring will see sprout and which other hands than ours will reap and enjoy.' Indeed, neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to be able to cast a ballot. But Burns and Ward have assured them of a larger place in the American memory--as is their right."

This book was written in conjunction with Ken Burns' documentary.

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