Books – Women’s History

Books About Women in History

These are books that I have read or used as reference on the blog and can recommend.

Activists and Educators

The Beautiful Life of Frances E. Willard by Anna Adams Gordon
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
Freedom’s Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement From 1830 to 1970 by Lynne Olson
Eighty Years and More by Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Glimpses of fifty years: the Autobiography of an American Woman
by Frances Willard
Helen Kendrick Johnson: The Story of Her Varied Activities by Rossiter Johnson
History of Woman Suffrage by Elizabeth Cady Stanton  et. al.
The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony
by Ida Husted Harper
Mary McLeod Bethune by Emma Gelders Sterne

Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale by Gillian Gill
Sisters: The Lives of America’s Suffragists by Jean H. Baker
Sophia: Princess Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand
Susan B. Anthony by Alma Lutz

The Use and the Need of Carry A. Nation by Carry A. Nation
A Woman Among Warlords by Malalai Joya
A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot by Mary Walton

Adventurers and Explorers

The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither by Isabella Bird Bishop
Ladies of the Field: Early Women Archaeologists and Their Search for Adventure
by Amanda Adams
The Life of Isabella Bird (Mrs. Bishop)
by Anna M. Stoddart
Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist by Brooke Kroeger
On Top of the World: Five Women Explorers in Tibet
by Luree Miller
Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels
by Janet Soskice

First Ladies – US and other countries

The Adams Women: Abigail & Louisa Adams, Their Sisters and Daughters by Paul C. Nagel
A Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson
by Patricia Brady
A Perfect Union by Catherine Allgor (biography of Dollie Madison)
Bess W. Truman by Margaret Truman
Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell

Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady by Sylvia Jukes Morris
Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of Their Relationship Based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s Private Papers by Joseph P. Lash
Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume I, 1884 – 1933 by Blanche Wiesen Cook
Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume II, 1933 – 1938 by Blanche Wiesen Cook
Eva Peron by Alicia Dujovne Ortiz
First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama
by Betty Caroli
First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents’ Wives and Their Power 1789 – 1961
by Carl Sferrazza Anthony
Florence Harding: The First Lady, The Jazz Age, and the Death of America’s Most Scandalous President
by Carl Sferrazza Anthony
Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
by Cokie Roberts
Harriet Lane, America’s First Lady
by Milton Stern
The Kennedy Women: The Saga of an American Family by Laurence Leamer
Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts
Lady Bird: A Biography of Mrs. Johnson by Jan Jarboe Russell
Lou Henry Hoover: Gallant First Lady by Helen B. Pryor M.D.
Martha Washington by Patricia Brady
Mary Lincoln’s Flannel Pajamas: And Other Stories from the First Ladies’ Closet by Feather Schwartz Foster
Nellie Taft: The Unconventional First Lady of the Ragtime Era
by Carl Sferrazza Anthony
A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation
by Catherine Allgor
Presidential Wives: An Anecdotal History
by Paul F. Boller Jr.
The Roosevelt Women
by Betty Boyd Caroli
A Woman of Egypt by Jehan Sadat

General & Miscellaneous Biographies

America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins
Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868 by Cokie Roberts
Her Share of the Blessings: Women’s Religions Among Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Greco-Roman World
by Ross Shepard Kraemer
Hetty: The Genius and Madness of America’s First Female Tycoon
by Charles Slack
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skool
Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill, The Romantic Years, 1854-1895 by Ralph G. Martin
Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill, The Dramatic Years, 1895-1921 by Ralph G. Martin
The Jezebel Effect: Why the Slut Shaming of Famous Queens Still Matters
by Kyra Cornelius Kramer
The Medieval Vagina: An Historical and Hysterical Look at All Things Vaginal During the Middle Ages by Karen L. Harris and Lori Caskey-Sigety
Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull by Barbara Goldsmith
Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence by Carol Berkin
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson
The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience by Kirstin Downey
Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Queens, Rulers and Related Women

Eleanor of Aquitane: The Mother Queen by Desmond Seward
Great Catherine: The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia
by Carrolly Erickson
The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire by Leslie Peirce
The Jezebel Effect: Why the Slut Shaming of Famous Queens Still Matters by Kyra Cornelius Kramer

Saints and Other Religious Women

Christian Leaders of the 18th Century by J. C. Ryle
Hildegard of Bingen: A Visionary Life by Sabina Flanagan
Life of Anne Hutchinson: With a Sketch of the Antinomian Controversy in Massachusetts
by George E. Ellis
The Prayers of Susanna Wesley edited by W. L. Doughty
Susanna Wesley by Eliza Clarke
The Women of Methodism by Abel Stevens
Women Mystics in Medieval Europe by Emilie Zum Brunn and Georgette Epiney-Burgard

Scientists, Mathematicians, and Physicians

Celebrating Women in Mathematics and Science by The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
Complexities: Women in Mathematics,
ed. Bettye Anne Case and Anne M. Leggett
An Eighteenth Century Marquise
by Frank Hamel

Euclid’s Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace by Leonard Mlodinow
Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking by William H. Cropper
Nobel Prize Women in Science by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
Notable Women in Mathematics edited by Charlene Morrow and Teri Perl

Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie by Barbara Goldsmith
Personal Recollections from Early Life to Old Age of Mary Somerville by Martha Somerville
Sonya Kovalevsky by Anna Carlotta Leffler
Women in Mathematics by Lynn Osen
Women in Science: Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century
by Marilyn Bailey Ogilivie

Women in Science by H. J. Mozans
The Doctor Wore Petticoats: Women Physicians of the Old West by Chris Enss
The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Mathematician of God by Mazzotti, Massimo

Collections & Reference

Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times by Alice Duer Miller
Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction ed. Hallie O. Brown
Little journeys to the Homes of Great Teachers by Elbert Hubbard
Notable American women, 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary, Three Volumes, eds. James, Edward T. et al.
Notable American women, The Modern Period: A Biographical Dictionary, eds. Sicherman, Green, et al.
Notable American women, Completing the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary eds. Ware and Braukman
Notorious Australian Women by Kay Saunders
Walking in Two Worlds: Mixed-Blood Indian Women Seeking Their Path by Nancy M Patterson
Women of Achievement by Benjamin Brawley
The Women of the American Revolution by Elizabeth F. Ellet, Three Volumes

Online videos

The American Experience videos are not always available online, but there is good information about the subject.

Dolly Madison on American Experience
Amelia Earhart on American Experience
Annie Oakley on American Experience
God in America on American Experience
First Ladies: Influence & Image by C-SPAN and the White House Historical Association

Women, War, and Peace – this is a five part documentary about how war affects women and how they can affect war. It covers the experiences of women in Bosnia, Columbia, Liberia, and Afghanistan. It is well worth taking the time to watch all 5 parts.

Tell us what you think.