5 Authors Of Essential Books On Women's History
Whether you're reading about ancient societies or more recent events like the space race, it would be foolish to assume that the only kind of people who have left a mark on the world are men. In no particular order, here are some feminist historians who write about the contributions women have made to humankind.
#1 in our overview is Daina Ramey Berry, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, the associate editor of The Journal of African American History, and has been featured in the New York Times, Politico, the Washington Post, and Huffington Post. Additionally, Dr. Berry has appeared on podcasts such as Seneca's 100 Women to Hear, where she discussed the abolitionist and early feminist thinker Sojourner Truth.
Dr. Berry has been on several syndicated radio and television networks including NBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and NPR. Among her books are Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is Ripe, which focuses on gender and slavery in antebellum Georgia; The Price for Their Pound of Flesh, about the roles of the enslaved in building America; and A Black Women's History of the United States. The author was also one of the editors of Sexuality and Slavery: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas.
Arriving at #2 is Janice P. Nimura, whose writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Morning News, the Chicago Tribune, and LitHub, among other publications. Her book Daughters of the Samurai is about five girls from feudal Japan who are sent by their government to go to school in the United States, in order to receive a western education and return to help train the next generation of men to lead the country.
Nimura's second book, The Doctors Blackwell, is a biography of two sisters who arrived in the United States during a cholera epidemic, and made it their mission to provide medical care to the under-served. The Blackwells would go on to found the first entirely female-staffed hospital, located in New York City. Nimura also contributed an essay to a collection entitled Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo.
Next up, at #3, is Martha Ackmann, a journalist who wrote Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, The First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League. She has been published in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition, the writer is a frequent commentator for New England Public Radio, and has been featured on CNN, NPR, and the BBC.
In These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson, Dr. Ackmann examines the famous poet, spanning from her teenage years to her final days with nearly 2,000 poems behind her. One of Ackmann's earlier works of nonfiction is The Mercury 13, which tells the true stories of the female pilots and patriots who sometimes sacrificed jobs and marriages for a chance to participate in America's space race.
Our #4 is Pamela D. Toler, whose writing is targeted toward a popular audience. Her book Mankind: The Story of All Of Us provides an overview of the growth of civilization, and was released as a companion to the History Channel television series of the same name. Another of Dr. Toler's books, Heroines of Mercy Street, centers on the nurses who transformed a mansion in Alexandria, Virginia into a wartime hospital.
Other titles include Women Warriors, which examines the daughters, mothers, merchants, pirates, and rulers who lived through notable battles. When the author appeared on the podcast What's Her Name, she told the story of Zenobia, the 3rd-century Syrian queen who defied the Roman Empire and launched a wildly successful campaign of expansion, eventually ruling much of the Near East. Dr. Toler also wrote The Everything Guide to Understanding Socialism, which takes readers through the origins and modern-day interpretations of the titular political philosophy.
Finally, coming in at #5 is Theresa Kaminski, a former academic historian who writes about strong women living through extraordinary times. A typical example of this is Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War, about an abolitionist physician who received the Medal of Honor. Kaminski also co-wrote Dorothy Dore Dowlen's Enduring What Cannot Be Endured: Memoir of a Woman Medical Aide in the Philippines in World War II.
In addition to this memoir, Dr. Kaminski has penned other books in the same milieu. One is Citizen of Empire: Ethel Thomas Herold, an American in the Philippines, which tells the story of an ordinary woman who embraced imperialism and spent three years as a prisoner of war. Another is Angels of the Underground, about American women who resisted the Japanese in Manila after the Axis invasion.