To Her Credit: Historic Achievements—and the Women Who Actually Made Them Happen

Union Square. Aug. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9781454946120. $20. HIST
Independent scholars Culmo and McDermott introduce readers to women such as Hilma af Klint, Wu Zhao (or Wu Zetian), and Gladys Mae West, who should be household names but have been left out of many history books. Divided into categories—space, medicine, art, and more—each section highlights three or more individuals who made significant but unrecognized contributions to their particular areas. In many cases, men received the credit for their work. While some names (Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, Katherine Johnson) will be familiar, most are likely to be unknown to readers. Each entry is several paragraphs long, enough to discuss the woman’s contributions in the larger context and also to whet readers’ appetite to learn more. For example, astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin is one of the women noted in this book, so librarians may want to refer curious readers to What Stars Are Made Of, Donovan Moore and Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s biography of her.
VERDICT With references, notes and an index, plus beautiful illustrations, this book would be perfect for high school or first- or second-year college students seeking a well-rounded view of history. An inspiring read.
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