Women's history

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

By Cokie Roberts

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"...an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families -- and their country -- proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it. While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. Roberts brings us the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their businesses, raised their children, provided them with political advice, and made it possible for the men to do what they did.

"The behind-the-scenes influence of these women -- and their sometimes very public activities -- was intelligent and pervasive.Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favored recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and Martha Washington -- proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might never have survived."

Also available on audio and in large print.

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She-wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

By Helen Castor

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"When Edward VI died in 1553, the extraordinary fact was that there was no one left to claim the title of king of England. For the first time, England would have a reigning queen, but the question was which one: Katherine of Aragon's daughter, Mary; Anne Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth; or one of their cousins, Lady Jane Grey or Mary, Queen of Scots.

"But female rule in England also had a past. Four hundred years before Edward's death, Matilda, daughter of Henry I and granddaughter of William the Conqueror, came tantalizingly close to securing the crown for herself. And between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries three more exceptional women -- Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, and Margaret of Anjou -- discovered how much was possible if presumptions of male rule were not confronted so explicitly, and just how quickly they might be vilified as 'she-wolves' for their pains. The stories of these women, told here in all their vivid detail, expose the paradox that female heirs to the Tudor throne had no choice but to negotiate. Man was the head of woman, and the king was the head of all. How, then, could royal power lie in female hands?"

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Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue

By Kathryn J. Atwood

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These twenty-six suspense-filled stories unfold from across Germany, Poland, Great Britain, the United States, and more, providing an inspiring reminder of women and girls' refusal to sit on the sidelines around the world and throughout history.

Sophie Scholl : the White Rose -- Maria von Maltzan : the countess who hid Jews -- Irene Gut : "only a young girl" -- Irena Sendler : life in a jar -- Stefania Podgorska : the teen who hid thirteen -- Marie-Madeleine Fourcade : "only a woman" -- Andrée Virot : Agent Rose -- Josephine Baker : spy singer -- Magda Trocmé : wife, mother, teacher, rescuer -- Diet Eman : courier for the Dutch resistance -- Hannie Schaft : the symbol of the resistance -- Johtje Vos : a group effort -- Corrie ten Boom : watchmaker, rescuer, reconciler -- Andrée de Jongh : the comet line -- Hortense Daman : partisan courier -- Fernande Keufgens : the teen with the bold voice -- Monica Wichfeld : heroine of the Danish resistance -- Ebba Lund : the girl with the red cap -- Noor Inayat Khan : royal spy -- Nancy Wake : the white mouse -- Pearl Witherington : the courier who became a leader -- Virginia Hall : the greatest American spy -- Muriel Phillips : U.S. Army nurse -- Marlene Dietrich : "the only important thing" -- Maria Gulovich : Slovak for the OSS -- Martha Gellhorn : war correspondent.

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Women's Firsts: Milestones in Women's History

By Peggy Saari and Tim Gall and Susan Gall, editors

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Entries in chronological order present women involved in important moments in the arts, business, social activism, government, religion, sports, and other areas. Presented in 2 volumes. Published in 1998.

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Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia

By Anne Commire, editor

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The work includes women of historical interest from all walks of life and is truly international in scope. Three hundred contributors from 20 nations participated. Among those researched are wives, daughters, mothers, and other women who were not documented in traditional, male-oriented sources, especially history books. Originally, only women deceased before 1926 were to be included, but the scope was later altered to include women of the 1960s feminist era and those "whose places in history are secure." A 16-volume set.

This reference set may be used in the library, and you may Ask a Librarian to check to see if a subject is covered.

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The 100 Most Influential Women of All Time

By Deborah G. Felder

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"A ranking of the most influential women in recorded time, including Sappho, the Virgin Mary, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Lucille Ball. Readers may argue some choices, but the concise and insightful entries are excellent. Felder researched her compendium with the aid of women's studies professors and chairs from leading US universities. The range is impressive from the instantly recognizable to the virtually unknown in all fields: social reform, politics, literature, and entertainment."

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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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The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice

By Sandra Day O'Connor

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"Tracing some of the origins of American law through history, people, and ideas, O'Connor sheds new light on the basics, and through personal observation she explores the development of institutions and ideas we have come to regard as fundamental. O'Connor discusses notable cases that have shaped American democracy and the Court as we know it today, and she traces the turbulent battle women have fought for a place in our nation's legal system since America's inception. Straight-talking, clear-eyed, inspiring, The Majesty of the Law is more than a reflection on O'Connor's own experiences as the first female Justice of the Supreme Court; it also contains a discussion of how the suffrage movement changed the lives of women--in voting booths, jury boxes, and homes across the country."

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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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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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