book review: Her Story


Title: Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America
Author: Charlotte S. Waisman and Jill S. Tietjen
ISBN: 0061246514
Pages: 272
Publisher: Collins (April 1, 2008)
Category: non-fiction/ history
Review source: publisher
Rating: 5/5

From its first entry [Virginia Dare, first child born on American soil, 1587] to its last [Drew Gilpin Faust, named first female president of Harvard University, 2007], Her Storycontains an impressive collection of accomplished women in the fields of arts & entertainment [Martha Graham, Hattie McDaniel], science [Maria Goeppert-Mayer, Mabel MacFerran Rockwell], medicine [Virginia Apgar, Helen Brooke Taussig] , academia [Elizabeth Peabody, Shirley Ann Jackson], law [Marian Wright Edelman] , politics [Ann Richards, Shirley Chisholm], women’s issues [Lucy Stone, Betty Friedan], sports [Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Chris Evert], and business [Ann Fudge, Lillian Vernon]. The lavish book includes many female firsts and groundbreaking women. Whether from little-known names [Kaahumanu, Bessie Coleman, Genevieve Cline, Frances Bond Palmer, Jerrie Cobb] to more recognizable women [Emily Post, Ella Fitzgerald, Penny Marshall, Whoopie Goldberg, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross] or by achievement, the exquisite presentation of Her Story reminds the reader of the important contributions by women. This is an amazing, beautiful and fascinating guide to U.S. women’s history. Her Story must be shared.

A sampling of some of the women:

–Kaahumanu–co-ruler of Hawaii and abolishes many restrictions against women [1819]
–Margaret Fuller– starts Conversations for women, a salon set-up to discuss issues/ ideas [1839]
Soujourner Truth– becomes antislavery speaker and best known for “Ain’t I a Woman” speech [1843]
–Elizabeth Blackwell– first U.S. woman to receive M.D. degree [1849]
–Myrtella Miner– establishes the Miner School for Free Colored Girls [1851]
–Elizabeth Peabody–opens first U.S. kindergarten, in Boston [1860]
–Charlotte Forten Grimke– teaches illiterate southern slaves to read during the Civil War [1862]
–Edith Wharton– first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, for Age of Innocence [1920]
–Mabel MacFerran Rockwell– an electrical engineer and only woman on the project to design and install the power-generating machinery at the Hoover Dam [1935]
–Hattie McDaniel—first African American to win an Academy Award, Gone with the Wind [1940]
–Sarah Vaughan—jazz singer, wins amateur contest at Apollo Theatre [1942]
–Helen Brooke Taussig—pediatrician and cardiologist, develops cardiac catheterization operations which saves numerous infants from “blue baby” condition [1944]
–Virginia Apgar– physician, develops series of rapid checks [The Apgar score] to use on newborn infants to determine if immediate medical attention is needed [1952]
–Josephine Perfect Bay– president of A.M. Kidder and Co. and first woman to head a member firm of NYSE [New York Stock Exchange] [1956]
–Julia Child—begins television cooking show The French Chef [1963]
–Judith Graham Pool—identifies Factor VIII, the clotting factor in human plasma [1965]
–Sarah Weddington—attorney, defends women’s right to abortion before the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade [1973]
–Ann Fudge– begins marketing career at General Mills where she becomes CEO later [1977]
–Maya Lin– sculptor, selected to design the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial [1981]
–Ellen Ochoa– electrical engineer, first Hispanic woman astronaut and also invents optical analysis systems [1990]
–Phylicia Rashad—first black actress to win Tony Award, A Raisin in the Sun [2004]

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