March is Women’s History Month. Why not check out one of these books, and be inspired by these smart, talented, and tenacious women.
I Dwell in Possibility: Women Build a Nation, 1600-1920
by Donna M. Lucey
“Showcasing a gorgeous selection of 160 paintings, photographs, and artifacts, I Dwell in Possibility sweeps across three centuries of history to present a vivid gallery of women who in ways great and small shaped America’s character and ideals from the country’s beginnings to the early 1900s. Some are famous, familiar names, others unknown and unsung, but all share a spirit of independence and adventure that is uniquely, truly American. Theirs is an important, inspiring story, yet it’s rarely told—and never with the splendor and style of this stunning volume” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).
A Sisterhood of Sculptors: American Artists in Nineteenth-Century Rome
by Melissa Dabakis
“When Elizabeth Cady Stanton penned the Declaration of Sentiments for the first women’s rights convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, she unleashed a powerful force in American society. In A Sisterhood of Sculptors, Melissa Dabakis outlines the conditions under which a group of American women artists adopted this egalitarian view of society and negotiated the gendered terrain of artistic production at home and abroad.
Between 1850 and 1876, a community of talented women sought creative refuge in Rome and developed successful professional careers as sculptors. Some of these women have become well known in art-historical circles: Harriet Hosmer, Edmonia Lewis, Anne Whitney, and Vinnie Ream. The reputations of others have remained, until now, buried in the historical record: Emma Stebbins, Margaret Foley, Sarah Fisher Ames, and Louisa Lander. At midcentury, they were among the first women artists to attain professional stature in the American art world while achieving international fame in Rome, London, and other cosmopolitan European cities. In their invention of modern womanhood, they served as models for a younger generation of women who adopted artistic careers in unprecedented numbers in the years following the Civil War.
Daring To Look: Dorothea Lange’s Photographs and Reports from the Field
by Anne Whiston Spirn
“Daring to Look presents never-before-published photos and captions from Dorothea Lange’s fieldwork in California, the Pacific Northwest, and North Carolina during 1939. Lange’s images of squatter camps, benighted farmers, and stark landscapes are stunning, and her captions—which range from simple explanations of settings to historical notes and biographical sketches—add unexpected depth, bringing her subjects and their struggles unforgettably to life, often in their own words.
When Lange was dismissed from the Farm Security Administration at the end of 1939, these photos and field notes were consigned to archives, where they languished, rarely seen. With Daring to Look, Anne Whiston Spirn not only returns them to the public eye, but sets them in the context of Lange’s pioneering life, work, and struggle for critical recognition—firmly placing Lange in her rightful position at the forefront of American photography” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).
My Beloved World
by Sonia Sotomayor
“The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.
Here is the story of a precarious childhood, with an alcoholic father (who would die when she was nine) and a devoted but overburdened mother, and of the refuge a little girl took from the turmoil at home with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. But it was when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes that the precocious Sonia recognized she must ultimately depend on herself. She would learn to give herself the insulin shots she needed to survive and soon imagined a path to a different life.
With only television characters for her professional role models, and little understanding of what was involved, she determined to become a lawyer, a dream that would sustain her on an unlikely course, from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York County District Attorney’s office, private practice, and appointment to the Federal District Court before the age of forty.
Along the way we see how she was shaped by her invaluable mentors, a failed marriage, and the modern version of extended family she has created from cherished friends and their children. Through her still-astonished eyes, America’s infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book, destined to become a classic of self-invention and self-discovery” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).
On a Farther Shore: the Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson
by William Souder
“Rachel Carson, founder of the modern environmental movement, began work on her seminal book Silent Spring in the late 1950s, when a dizzying array of synthetic pesticides had come into use. Leading this chemical onslaught was the insecticide DDT. Effective against crop pests as well as insects that transmitted human diseases such as typhus and malaria, DDT had at first appeared safe. But as its use expanded, alarming reports surfaced of collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife. Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and its effects, and it shocked the public and forced the government to take action despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry.
The book awakened the world to the heedless contamination of the environment and eventually led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and to the banning of DDT and a host of related pesticides” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).
-posted by Kevin Purtell & Gretchen Schneider
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