America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines

America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines

by Gail Collins


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America's Women 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
PiggityPig More than 1 year ago
It was given to me by my husbands grandma. I'm a military historian and a maritime historian, NOT a women's studies historian and so at first I balked. Why would she give me this? I was enthralled the moment that I opened the book. It opened a whole new world of history to me. Since reading this book, I've read many other books on women's history. Do not let the name scare you, men would find this book fascinating to. Its just an amazing look at America's history. As always I wish that the 60's to now had been dealt with a bit more, but when you are encompassing over two hundred years of history its hard to fit in everything. I also applaud Collins for attemtping to cover every color and every walk of life. Its hard to dig deeper into the slave and wage earned subconscious when there are numerous primary sources readily available for women that had plenty. She does it though, as well as investigate the relationships these women had with each other. All in all, this book is an absolute must read for everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book to learn about women suffragists
LinNC More than 1 year ago
Collins brings the stories of so many women to life. Too many of these names have never found their way into textbooks. Some were courageous, some were simply trying to make their way in a world that presented them with challenges unimaginable today, some struggled with choices, all were a part of the path that led to the place of women in today's America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Take a trip through time and meet America's women from the celebrated suffragist to the unknown Indian. Long after you finish the book, these brave women will linger in your heart & mind. Kudos to Collins who skillfully collapses 400 years into 400 pages. Very readable and engaging.
allthesedarnbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's an excellent, readable overview of the history of women in the United States. Because of the breadth of the subject, sometimes there wasn't enough information about certain women or subjects to satisfy my curiosity, but overall, this is a great and comprehensive book. There are numerous inspiring stories of famous and not-so-famous women. I recommend this for history fans and women everywhere, and it's a great place to start if you're interested in women's studies. Four and a half stars.
lmnop2652 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every time I open these pages for a quick peek at some tidbit, I'm hooked and can't put it down. It's chockablock full of America's history through the centuries, all in lively prose. A true treasure chest.
apartmentcarpet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gail Collins flits through history, touching on interesting well known and obscure women. This is popular history at its best - light, easy reading that skims the surface and gives you a list of things to research in detail later.
kambrogi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this well-researched and fascinating book. It is a history of America through the lives of women, ordinary citizens as well as leaders and innovators. Most history books deal primarily with war, expansion and politics ¿ and the men who dominated those events. They tend to leave out the women who participated in those endeavors, as well as the home and community life to which many of them contributed heavily. I loved reading about the clothing and food of the times, the ways in which women managed households and children, the laws that bound them, and the astonishing strength it took for them to do what was asked of them, or refuse to do it. Without a book such as this that presents the other side of the story, it would be difficult to understand just how much women contributed to the history of America.Written in intelligent, well-documented prose, it is an easy, entertaining and occasionally humorous read. I read each page eagerly and even after 450 pages, was sorry to see it finished.
annbury on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting, but less so than I expected from Ms. Collins. I do look forward, however, to reading her new book on the past half century.
kristinmm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very easily read and hard to put down history. I could have wished for more detail but it is covering quite a bit of time so has to be more of an overview. It was great to have ordinary women's lives included in the book as well as more famous ones. I will definitely be researching some people and events that this book introduced to me more thoroughly in the future.
SleepyKitty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An easy to read history of the diverse roles women have played in American society. Recommended for history and non-history afficionados.
Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting book about people not normally talked/analyzed about in other history books. This book discuses how women shaped America as well as what it means to be a female in this country. The book covers 400 years which is quite alot but it is still really interesting. Gail Collins focuses on how women's lives changed with various advances such as medical and social theory advances. I really enjoyed reading this book and if someone is interested in women's studies and the history of females in America, this book is for them.
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This book makes me happy to be a woman! Strong writing, extremely interesting. A great read.
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ProseSax More than 1 year ago
At least they all show up in THIS book. I was never able to schedule a Women's Studies class in college. Frankly, I started reading this book waiting to get bogged down. Ms. Collins fortunately NEVER gets bogged down. Like a film director, she knows when to change settings, characters and themes. Like a novelist, she knows when to bring key figures back into the narrative. And, like a good sociologist, she spots trends and patterns unique to the story of American women.
The book is packed with stories like that of Margaret Fuller, associate of icons as diverse as Poe and Thoreau. You learn the moving story of the Women's Air Corps; female pilots shot down towing targets for gunners to practice on. Through journals and diaries, she pieces together the stories of Civil War widows who escaped their emotional pain by becoming a very quiet epidemic of alcohol and drug abusers.
I challenge anyone to come away from this engrossing book without a deep compassion for these women, and a deeper knowledge of what being American truly means.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago