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.





  1. dryadart Said:

    Oh Karen, there were no class issues in thr women’s movement (she says with heavy sarcasm) nor petty feuds of a personal nature! Ok maybe I’ll take a peak at that book if I find any time on my hands, I really just stopped by to say Happy new Year, and to ask if you could remind me of teh name of that vampire novel, I wanted to send it to my niece! Thanks in advance, best to you both…

  2. M.J. Iuppa Said:

    Happy New Year, Karen!

    Last year, I went to a reading of the Triangle Factory Fire play at the JCC and I believe they may do a full production of it. It’s an interesting play based on testimonies, which were written in past tense. I think it would benefit the play to be present tense; but, to date, no one has asked for my opinion on this. (Ha!) But if they do do it, I will send you a note.

    Also, because you asked below this post. My second full length collection Within Reach will be released March 2010, from Cherry Grove Collections.

    Happy New Year to you!


  3. Karen Weyant Said:

    Hi Deb — The book is called Let the Right One In by John jvide Linquist (Spelling). Just a warning: It’s very dark reading (nothing like Twilight).

    Thanks M.J! I missed at least two other books. I am going to update my list for 2010.

  4. Gail Collins latest book is on my 2010 reading list, and it seems she saved up her insights on the 60’s and beyond for this book: “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present.”

    If we were really coordinated, we could read the book at the same time (of course, you may have grown tired of Collins and not want to read more of her) and blog about it.

    And maybe more people would join us . . .

  5. Thanks, Karen, for the promo! Book should be out by summer. Am adding you right now to my blogroll.

  6. Karen Weyant Said:

    Kristin — I will have to look up Gail Collins’ new book. She’s a great writer.

    Diane, Thanks for stopping by! I need to add your name to my list. In general, I need to update my blogroll.

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