America’s Women, Gail Collins

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One Response to “America’s Women, Gail Collins”

  1. Lucy E. Says:

    This book’s title is fairly self-explanatory. It is an attempt to cover major moments in the history of the United States, all through the lenses of women. It begins in the 1600s, when settlers came from England to find new lives, and it goes all the way through feminism of the late 20th century. However, it does not just look at the events of history, it looks at how history shaped the roles of women in society, and focuses on some historical figures that often go overlooked. In a way, it’s a narrative of the development from women as virtually powerless to homesteaders to suffragettes to the contemporary period, when women have become more integrated and powerful in society.

    I personally enjoyed this book because it’s very entertaining. While the title may fool one into thinking that it is going to be the same old “feminist call to action,” that highlights all of the hardships women have been put through, it really is not at all like that. Collins enjoys being silly and funny, and it comes through in her writing. While she is writing about historical events, both triumphs and tragedies, she is not victimizing women and turning these historical figures into martyrs. She is immortalizing them as real people who were not boring or even entirely serious. Instead, she paints the women of history as vibrant and entertaining characters, and it makes the book very fun to read.

    Rating: 4 stars

    I would also recommend reading “When Everything Changed,” which is also by Collins but focuses more on women in the civil rights era to the present, “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett, and “The Witch of Blackbird Pond,” by Elizabeth George Speare.

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