Archive for January 2, 2010

CLSC Book Four: America’s Women

Snow, snow, and more snow.  So, I’ve been using my time to catch up on my reading.  America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines by Gail Collins was a perfect way to start out the new year.  I have to admit — I was a bit skeptical when I started reading this book.  I mean, can we really put the history of American women into a single book? (Even though the book is around 450 pages long?)  Still, I was impressed with how much ground that Collins was able to cover — she started with Eleanor Dare (the women who gave birth to Virginia Dare, the first European baby born in the colonies — that we know of…) and ended with a brief look at the 1970’s.  The book does read like a novel, so I never found that I was reading a history textbook.

Two disappointments:  Collins seems to skim over the importance of women in the labor movement.  She didn’t even mention the horrific Triangle Factory Fire.  While she never ignores class issues with American women (very important!), I felt like she could have talked a bit more about women’s labor movement.  (She did mention Mother Jones!)

Collins also stopped in the 70’s.  I barely remember the 70’s.  What has women’s role been since that decade?  This book was published 2003 — there was plenty of time for at least a few more thoughts..

But, all in all — a great read.  And like I mentioned before, a great way to start out the new year.