The Women’s History of the Modern World: How Radicals, Rebels, and Everywomen Revolutionized the Last 200 Years

Morrow. Feb. 2021. 432p. ISBN 9780062444035. pap. $16.99. SOC SCI
A follow-up to her book Who Cooked the Last Supper?, this most recent work by Miles uses a familiar, lively tone to highlight the essential contributions of women that are so often overlooked by mainstream history. The author covers a mind-boggling range of time and geography, scurrying back and forth across continents in an effort to highlight as many trailblazing women as possible. The narrative does skew toward women of the Western world, but also seeks to incorporate important contributions from the Global South. Miles identifies groundbreaking feminist activists, successes of Hollywood and Wall Street, and long-overlooked soldiers and politicians. Many names will be familiar to even casual students of history, such as Harriet Tubman and Sally Hemings, but readers will also almost certainly learn about the contributions of less familiar women, such as public servant Annie Lee Moss, who was accused of communism by Joseph McCarthy. Occasional photographs throughout add context.
VERDICT An interesting read for curious feminists and historians, even if the pacing and organization are sometimes uneven. Certainly, readers will learn a great deal, and the author’s enthusiasm for her subject is apparent from page one through the very end.
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