Women Warriors in History

McFarland. Dec. 2023. 513p. ISBN 9781476693057. pap. $95. REF
Award-winning author of English and Latin textbooks and reference titles, Snodgrass covers the “names and deeds” of more than 1,600 women fighters, grouped into 17 historical periods that span from the Bronze Age through the present day. Encyclopedic in breadth and range of cursory details, the book demonstrates the power women have had as leaders in unexpected spaces. Entries include profiles of an Old Testament judge, Joan of Arc, Julia Child, and many more. Snodgrass sometimes uses obscure terms like “virago,” but most readers will not be bothered by it. The stories she tells here include drama, and she gives her subjects back some of the power that misogynistic historical narratives have removed.
VERDICT A dazzling overview of women’s contributions to warfare, starting with archers from the Bronze Age. It’s sure to intrigue readers looking for both big-picture observations and small details about women’s triumphs and defeats on the battlefield.
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