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Women’s History Month : Insightful New Reads for 2023

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Women’s History Month : Insightful New Reads for 2023

Women’s History Month is a celebration of the often overlooked contributions of women to history, culture, and society, and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987.  From Abigail Adams to Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth to Rosa Parks, the timeline of women’s history milestones stretches back for centuries.

Check out these new titles in our Library collection that highlight the stories of inspirational women, explore milestones in the women’s rights movement, and/or deal with social and cultural issues revolving around women. (Note: Descriptions are taken from the publishers)

adas algorithm

Ada’s Algorithm : How A Twenty-One Year Old Launched The Digital Age Through The Poetry Of Numbers by James Essinger

Ada Lovelace was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the dangerous romantic poet whose name was a byword for scandal. Over the past decades, Ada herself has become a surprise underground star for digital pioneers all over the world, starting with Alan Turing, but also for female scientists in general. This book tells the story of Ada Lovelace’s turbulent private life as the poet’s daughter and her exceptional achievement. It traces how her scientific peers failed to recognize the extraordinary breakthrough she made in the middle of the 19th century. If they had, the computer age could have started almost two centuries ago. 

bad mormon

Bad Mormon : A Memoir by Heather Gay

A reality TV personality recounts an upbringing in a religion that she finally rejected. In this funny, brash, and unbelievably vulnerable bookHeather recounts her  experiences as a single mother to three girls, navigating life post-divorce and post-Mormonism. It follows Heather’s early days as a young girl in the church, through to her disavowal of the Mormon faith and success in both business and television. 

caseofthemarriedwoman

The Case Of The Married Woman : Caroline Norton And Her Fight For Women’s Justice by Antonia Fraser

Relates the story of nineteenth-century English poet Caroline Norton, who was denied access to her children by her husband after a sensational trial for adultery, and fought tirelessly for the rights of married women and mothers, resulting in the passage of the Infant Custody Act of 1839.

confidante

The Confidante : The Untold Story Of The Woman Who Helped Win WWII And Shape Modern America by Christopher C. Gorham 

The first-ever biography of Anna Marie Rosenberg, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who became a real power behind national policies critical to America winning World War II and prospering afterwards, chronicles her extraordinary career as FDR’s special envoy to Europe during the war and an adviser to five presidents.

dressed for freedom

Dressed For Freedom : The Fashionable Politics Of American Feminism by Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

Rabinovitch-Fox examines how clothes empowered women, and particularly women barred from positions of influence due to race or class. Moving from 1890s shirtwaists through the miniskirts and unisex styles of the 1970s, she shows how the rise of mass media culture made fashion a vehicle for women to assert claims over their bodies, femininity, and social roles. She also highlights how trends in women’s sartorial practices expressed ideas of independence and equality.

flora macdonald

Flora Macdonald : “Pretty Young Rebel” : Her Life And Story by Flora Fraser

A captivating biography of the remarkable young Scotswoman whose bold decision to help “Bonnie” Prince Charlie–the Stuart claimant to the British throne–evade capture and flee the country has become the stuff of legend.

formidable

Formidable : American Women And The Fight For Equality, 1920-2020 by Elisabeth Griffith

The Nineteenth Amendment was an incomplete victory. A century later, women are still grappling with how to use the vote and their political power to expand civil rights, confront racial violence, improve maternal health, advance educational and employment opportunities, and secure reproductive rights. Formidable chronicles the efforts of white and Black women to advance sometimes competing causes. Black women wanted the rights enjoyed by whites. White women wanted to be equal to white men. In this riveting narrative, Dr. Griffith integrates the fight by white and Black women to achieve equality.

good for a girl

Good For A Girl : A Woman Running In A Man’s World by Lauren Fleshman

Part memoir, part manifesto, Good for a Girl is Fleshman’s story of falling in love with running as a girl, being pushed to her limits and succumbing to devastating injuries, and daring to fight for a better way for female athletes. Long gone are the days when women and girls felt lucky just to participate; Fleshman and women everywhere are waking up to the reality that they’re running, playing, and competing in a world that wasn’t made for them. Drawing on not only her own story but also emerging research on the physiology and psychology of young athletes, of any gender, Fleshman gives voice to the often-silent experience of the female athlete and argues that the time has come to rebuild our systems of competitive sport with women at their center.

heiresses

Heiresses : The Lives Of The Million Dollar Babies by Laura Thompson

Heiresses tells the stories of Mary Davies, who inherited London’s most valuable real estate, and was bartered from the age of twelve; Consuelo Vanderbilt, the original American “Dollar Heiress”, forced into a loveless marriage; Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress who married seven times and died almost penniless; and Patty Hearst, heiress to a newspaper fortune who was arrested for terrorism. However, there are also stories of independence and achievement: Angela Burdett-Coutts, who became one of the greatest philanthropists of Victorian England; Nancy Cunard, who lived off her mother’s fortune and became a pioneer of the civil rights movement; and Daisy Fellowes, elegant linchpin of interwar high society and noted fashion editor.

great stewardess rebellion

The Great Stewardess Rebellion : How Women Launched A Workplace Rebellion At 30,000 Feet by Nell McShane Wulfhart (also available as an ebook and e-audiobook)

The empowering story of a group of spirited stewardesses who fought for their rights in the cabin and revolutionized the workplace for all American women.

madame restell

Madame Restell : The Life, Death, And Resurrection Of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless, And Infamous Abortionist by Jennifer Wright

This is the story of one of the boldest women in American history: self-made millionaire, a celebrity in her era, a woman beloved by her patients and despised by the men who wanted to control them.  An industrious immigrant who built her business from the ground up, Madame Restell was a self-taught surgeon on the cutting edge of healthcare in pre-Gilded Age New York, and her bustling “boarding house” provided birth control, abortions, and medical assistance to thousands of women–rich and poor alike.

master slave husband wife

Master Slave Husband Wife : An Epic Journey From Slavery To Freedom by Ilyon Woo

Presents the remarkable true story of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slavery through daring, determination, and disguise, with Ellen passing as a wealthy, disabled white man and William posing as “his” slave.

once and future sex

The Once And Future Sex : Going Medieval On Women’s Roles In Society by Eleanor Janega

In this vibrant, high-spirited history, medievalist Janega turns to the Middle Ages, the era that bridged the ancient world and modern society, to unfurl its suppositions about women and reveal what’s shifted over time-and what hasn’t. She boldly questions why, if our ideas of women have changed drastically over time, we cannot reimagine them now to create a more equitable future.

secrets of the sprakkar

Secrets Of The Sprakkar : Iceland’s Extraordinary Women And How They Are Changing The World by Eliza Reid

For the past twelve years, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report has ranked Iceland number one on its list of countries closing the gap in equality between men and women. What is it about Iceland that makes many women’s experience there so positive? Why has their society made such meaningful progress in this ongoing battle, from electing the world’s first female president to passing legislation specifically designed to help even the playing field at work and at home? And how can we learn from what Icelanders have already discovered about women’s powerful place in society and how increased fairness benefits everyone? 

skirts

Skirts : Fashioning Modern Femininity In The Twentieth Century by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

In a sparkling, beautifully illustrated social history, this book traces the shifting roles of women over the twentieth century through the era’s most iconic and influential dresses.  Skirts looks at the history of twentieth-century womenswear through the lens of game-changing styles like the Little Black Dress and the Bar Suit, as well as more obscure innovations like the Taxi dress or the Popover dress, which came with a matching potholder. These influential garments illuminate the times in which they were first worn-and the women who wore them-while continuing to shape contemporary fashion and even opening the door for a genderfluid future of skirts.

twice as hard

Twice As Hard : The Stories Of Black Women Who Fought To Become Physicians, From The Civil War To The 21st Century by Jasmine Brown

Brown pens the long-erased stories of nine pioneering black women physicians beginning in 1860, when a black woman first entered medical school. She tells the stories of these doctors from the perspective of a black woman in medicine. What she uncovers about these women’s struggles, their need to work twice as hard and be twice as good, and their ultimate success serves as instruction and inspiration for new generations considering a career in medicine or science.

women of rothschild

The Women Of Rothschild : The Untold Story Of The World’s Most Famous Dynasty by Natalie Livingstone

From the East End of London to the eastern seaboard of the United States, from Spitalfields to Scottish castles, from Bletchley Park to Buchenwald, and from the Vatican to Palestine, Natalie Livingstone follows the extraordinary lives of the Rothschild women from the dawn of the nineteenth century to the early years of the twenty-first.   Excluded from the family bank, they forged their own distinct dynasty of daughters and nieces, mothers and aunts. They became influential hostesses and talented diplomats, choreographing electoral campaigns, advising prime ministers, advocating for social reform, and trading on the stock exchange.

zelda popkin

Zelda Popkin : The Life And Times Of An American Jewish Woman Writer by Jeremy D. Popkin

From the 1920s when she worked in the highly competitive and male-dominated public relations business to her rise as a million selling author of popular fiction beginning in the 1940s, including some of the earliest fiction on the holocaust and the state of Israel, Zelda’s life and work documented the rise of American Jewish women. Her historian grandson Popkin uses Zelda’s experience to bring to life a larger story of American Jews and American women in the twentieth century, with the vividness that comes from having a lively character at its center. 

-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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