Women Who Changed the World: Their Lives, Challenges, and Accomplishments Through History

ABC-CLIO. 4. Jan. 2022. 1,378p. ed. by Candice Goucher. ISBN 9781440868245. $449. REF
Goucher (emerita, history, Washington State Univ.) and 110 contributors focus on 200 women throughout history, from Lucy, the oldest known human fossil, to pharaoh Hatshepsut to artist Georgia O’Keeffe to athlete Serena Williams. Each four- to eight-page entry describes the subject’s life (primarily public aspects), historical context, obstacles, and legacy. Two-thirds of the women profiled were born before 1900; biographical conjecture is sometimes necessary. Most entries focus on individuals, but the Igbo Women’s War, 17th-century N’Nonmiton warriors, and the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo also earn entries (though not the Bletchley women). LGBTQIA+ individuals are included among these entries, and the writers and editors are sensitive to using correct pronouns and names. It is easy to nominate candidates for the next edition, especially scientists, mathematicians, and women from the 20th and 21st century, but Goucher’s aim isn’t an exhaustive list, and the sampling will effectively broaden readers’ perspectives. Also includes a bibliography, further reading (often annotated), an index, photographs, and sidebars (many with primary source material).
VERDICT For high school and university students and general readers, this encyclopedia adds balance to history collections.
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