Read up on women's history—March 7, 2008
Before 1970, women’s history was not generally a subject of serious study. However, since then the field has grown rapidly and today almost every college offers women’s history courses. In 1987, Congress declared March to be Women’s History Month. You can find out more about women who have had an influence on our world by reading biographies from the library.
“Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)” by Kathleen Krull provides short biographies of twenty of the most influential women in history. Angela Royston’s book “100 Greatest Women” contains one-page biographies of 100 women, and each is illustrated with photographs.
“Extraordinary Women of the American West” by Judy Alter tells of the exploits and achievements of more than fifty women in the past and present of America’s West. The author has included such people as Sacajewea, Carry Nation, Willa Cather, and Annie Oakley. Judy L. Hasday’s book “Extraordinary Women Athletes” presents brief biographies of more than fifty women athletes from the twentieth century, including Wilma Rudolph, Peggy Fleming, Chris Evert, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Biographies of ten women who have made contributions toward furthering equality are included in the book “Champions of Equality” by Laurie Lindop. “Great Women in the Struggle,” edited by Toyomi Igus, contains photographs and short biographies of many black women and is divided up in categories such as freedom fighters, educators, writers and artists, athletes, and scientists.
All of these books are collective biographies that contain information about a number of different people. However, there are also many books that provide a more in-depth look at one individual. “America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle” by David A. Adler describes the life and accomplishments of the first woman to swim the English Channel. “Native American Doctor: The Story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte” by Jeri Ferris is the biography of an Omaha Indian woman who was the first Native American woman to graduate from medical school.
There are other women who have been recognized for famous “firsts.” Philip S. Hart’s book “Up in the Air” tells about the life of Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to fly an airplane. You can also read “Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut” by Maritza Romero or “Mae Jemison: Space Scientist” by Gail Sakurai, which tells about the life of the first African-American woman astronaut.
These are just a few of the many biographies of women available in the children’s department of the library. Take time this month to learn more about women in history!