Perhaps you have heard of Ruby Bridges, the little girl shown at right. She was the first African American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in 1960. But have you heard of Lucile Bluford or Ada Lois Sipuel? What about Marguerite Carr, Karla Galarza, Barbara Johns, Betta Bowman and Elaine Chustz? In Rachel Devlin’s A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women who Desegregated America’s Schools, we have an outstanding history of the unsung heroes of the American Civil Rights movement — the young women and girls who sued school districts and volunteered to be the “firsts” […]
I honest to the heavens thought I’d reviewed this one. The short version is: True crime fans/Murderinos will probably enjoy this one. I’m not sure anyone else will; the subject matter is pretty grim and the person in question warped like HH Holmes. Lizzie Borden may have killed her father and stepmother with an axe, but Belle Gunness killed a hell of a lot more, including her own children.
I know it is a terrible cliche, but every chapter inevitably had me thinking “this sounds familiar, I feel like we read this every day, the more things change…” While I did not grow up watching the television series, I was a voracious reader as a child, and repeatedly read The Little House of the Prairie series. I am also very interested in biographies of writers I enjoy, particularly when my perception of them isn’t particularly well matched by the reality (see also L. M. Montgomery). I saw this sitting in the new releases section of my library, with the […]
I really enjoy these kinds of “historical short story” non-fiction books. This book is in the same vein as Jennifer Wright’s books and I was all over those so this is right up my alley. Tori Telfer goes back through the ages, and around various parts of the world to pretty much debunk the myth presented by FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood in 1998; namely that there are “no women serial killers.” She has any number of women here in this book that handily fit the bill. Some of these women, like Elizabeth Bathory, I had heard of, and many others […]
A non-fiction book about Jack Robinson. Or better known as Jackie Robinson. The United States v. Jackie Robinson is not a typical biography of a baseball player. They start out with him being a child growing up as the only black family on their street. His mother’s strength and finally Jackie’s strength in the military. Few probably know that Jackie would not give up his seat on a bus either and it lead to a historic ruling, too. Finally, it ends with some of his baseball career and the Jackie Robinson most people know. The timeline at the end of […]
Valley of the dolls is about three women and their path into and along stardom. Anne is a frigid woman from New Jersey who moves to New York and gets a job for a theatre-lawyer-guy. She gets proposed to immediately by a wealthy guy, but turns him down for an Englishman with glorious hair. He, in turn, dumps her because he’s an artist, and then Anne becomes a famous model for a make-up brand. Anne meets Neely O’Hara, back when they’re still poor. Neely can sing and Anne uses her job with the lawyer-guy to get Neely a part in […]
In Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy, historian Elizabeth Gillespie McRae makes a strong argument for white women’s vital role in protecting and perpetuating white supremacy and thwarting integration in the US. One hundred years ago, woman began to organize in ways that we would recognize from today’s resistance movements. They developed grassroots campaigns reaching out to other women and encouraging them to organize, to write letters, to publish, to speak up and to vote. They did this, however, in the name of Jim Crow, as a way to shore up white power in […]
Back before Christmas, I told enquiring minds that I was after books on interesting or infamous women. This book made up part of that haul. I have to admit that I didn’t personally know a huge amount about Marie Laveau before she was depicted by the glorious Angela Bassett on American Horror Story. After-show googling netted a huge amount of legends swirling around her – this book basically demolishes those legends although, thanks to the lack of real information available on her, it doesn’t do too well at painting a picture of the real woman. During her lifetime, Marie Laveau […]