Mary Buckingham Lipsey has profiled over 60 women stories clustered in their respective fields. Lipsey tells their stories in a fascinating way from the early suffragettes to the 19th amendment. These stories come from their words, legal documents and news articles of their times. These diverse women were famous as contributors in a man’s world and making a real difference in their fields. Nampeyo’s Native American painted pottery was popular in the late 1800’s. Today, her work is exhibited in the Native American Museum in Washington, DC. These Almost Forgotten Women were instrumental in women’s early struggles for equality. African American Marian Anderson’s concert in Washington, DC outdoors at the Lincoln Memorial after being denied the DAR Hall venue in 1939 is a well known example of the struggles of black women artists. Marian had performed without incident in most European capitals. I appreciated the depth of research and poignant descriptions of each character. All the women are well referenced, sources of information are well documented and further readings are provided. The illustrations and photos were appropriate as well as excellent quality. This is a great book for both middle and high school level readers through adulthood.
Lipsey begins with a woman on the western frontier who was a risk taker. In addition to the scientists, educators, inventors, women soldiers in the Civil War, early doctors and outstanding nurses, reformers, journalists and politicians are included. Annie Oakley thought all women should learn to shoot a gun to develop confidence and power. Annie Peck wrote of her mountain climbing as the pleasure and satisfaction of “going where no man has been… and few can follow”. Belva Lockwood ran for president in 1884 and 1888. While she could not vote, she hoped others would vote for her. She later wrote of “The glory of each generation is to make its own precedents.” Lucy Stone, an early suffragette wrote “…the young women of today can not know at what price their right to free speech and to speak freely at all in public has been earned.” These were the women that have paved the way for women’s equality and serve as inspirational leaders for today’s women. Women’s study groups would surely want to include this comprehensive study of the developing women’s movements within American society.