Feminist History & Theory

American Tomboys, 1850-1915

American Tomboys, 1850-1915

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A lot of women remember having had tomboy girlhoods. Some recall it as a time of gender-bending freedom and rowdy pleasures. Others feel the word is used to limit girls by suggesting such behavior is atypical. In American Tomboys, Renée M. Sentilles explores how the concept of the tomboy developed in the turbulent years after the Civil War, and she argues that the tomboy grew into an accepted and even vital transitional figure. In this period, cultural critics, writers, and educators came to imagine that white middle-class tomboys could transform themselves into the vigorous mothers of America's burgeoning empire. In addition to the familiar heroines of literature, Sentilles delves into a wealth of newly uncovered primary sources that manifest tomboys' lived experience, and she asks critical questions about gender, family, race, and nation. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, American Tomboys explores the cultural history of girls who, for a time, whistled, got into scrapes, and struggled against convention.
Bad Feminist

Bad Feminist

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From the author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, the New York Times Bestseller, Best Book of the Year at NPR, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many more, and instant classic

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

"Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink--all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I'm not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue."

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better, coming from one of our most interesting and important cultural critics.

Call Them by Their True Names

Call Them by Their True Names

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National Book Award Longlist Winner of the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction Winner of the Foreword INDIE Editor's Choice Prize for Nonfiction
"Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading." --The New Republic

"Solnit's exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy." --Elle

Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books, including the international bestseller Men Explain Things to Me. Called "the voice of the resistance" by the New York Times, she has emerged as an essential guide to our times, through her incisive commentary on feminism, violence, ecology, hope, and everything in between.

In this powerful and wide-ranging collection, Solnit turns her attention to battles over meaning, place, language, and belonging at the heart of the defining crises of our time. She explores the way emotions shape political life, electoral politics, police shootings and gentrification, the life of an extraordinary man on death row, the pipeline protest at Standing Rock, and the existential threat posed by climate change.

The work of changing the world sometimes requires changing the story, the names, and inventing or popularizing new names and terms and phrases. Calling things by their true names can also cut through the lies that excuse, disguise, avoid, or encourage inaction, indifference, obliviousness in the face of injustice and violence.

Chameleon Girl

Chameleon Girl

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Adapt and thrive--this is the way of the Chameleon.


With a less than idyllic childhood shrouded behind her, Nora Horvath finds confidence and strength in the life she's created for herself. Needs, not names, are what interests this self-possessed woman, and that's exactly the way she likes it. Between her hobbies, her work, and her intimate circle of confidants, there is literally nothing Nora desires from the outside world--let alone a long forgotten one.

As a firefighter, Nora knows better than most that heat rises. After a terrifying rescue jostles free the memories of a traumatic and abusive past, Nora is forced to pursue the demons who beckon her back into the shadowy realm of this new trauma. As she ascends into the inferno of her past, she begins to discover just how much heat she can handle.


Feverishly, Nora attempts to maintain her tight grip on the things she holds dear, and considers everything else to be... trivial. After all, a chameleon only changes color when it's frightened, and nothing can rattle the likes of Nora Horvath. Not even the truth.

Stunning, powerful, and complex, Chameleon Girl is a novel so big it occupies dual worlds. Igniting passion and intrigue, this psychological thriller transcends the genre as a champion of emotional intelligence and feminist narrative. Journey into the darkest and most complex aspects of the human experience as you witness this incredible cast of characters change, adapt, and show their true colors in Liz Ferro's bewitching debut novel. Grab your copy today!


Defining Women's Scientific Enterprise : Mount Holyoke Faculty And The Rise Of American Science

Defining Women's Scientific Enterprise : Mount Holyoke Faculty And The Rise Of American Science

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This fascinating reappraisal of the relationship of women and the scientific enterprise focuses on the efforts of Protestant women science faculty at Mount Holyoke College to advance themselves and their institution from its founding as an evangelical Protestant seminary for women in 1837 to the present. Contrary to most history-of-science interpretations of women's professional experience, Levin suggests that in several important ways New England Protestant culture - and the zeal of women faculty at a college established to train female missionaries - created a learning environment that enabled science faculty to establish and maintain a niche for themselves and to contribute to the development of scientific enterprise, particularly during Mount Holyoke's first hundred years. externalist dimensions: religion, gender, geography, and pedagogy. She shows how the unique blending of a religious and female calling took place in a particular geographical setting - a relatively isolated college town in New England. She also shows how new ideas about doing science became translated into new ways of teaching science and how pedagogy and scientific discoveries are mutually interactive. Ultimately, Levin presents an intriguing case study of an alternative way of doing science - college-based, women-based, religion-based, teaching-based - one wholly different from the rise of the research university model that has become the basis for the history of academic science in the United States. In Levin's book, Mount Holyoke itself becomes an experiment that raises a basic question: Is there another way to do science?
ESSENTIAL LABOR: MOTHERING AS SOCIAL CHANGE

ESSENTIAL LABOR: MOTHERING AS SOCIAL CHANGE

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

From the acclaimed author of Like a Mother comes a reflection on the state of caregiving in America, and an exploration of mothering as a means of social change.

The Covid-19 pandemic shed fresh light on a long-overlooked truth: mothering is among the only essential work humans do. In response to the increasing weight placed on mothers and caregivers--and the lack of a social safety net to support them--writer Angela Garbes found herself pondering a vital question: How, under our current circumstances that leave us lonely, exhausted, and financially strained, might we demand more from American family life?

In Essential Labor, Garbes explores assumptions about care, work, and deservedness, offering a deeply personal and rigorously reported look at what mothering is, and can be. A first-generation Filipino-American, Garbes shares the perspective of her family's complicated relationship to care work, placing mothering in a global context--the invisible economic engine that has been historically demanded of women of color.

Garbes contends that while the labor of raising children is devalued in America, the act of mothering offers the radical potential to create a more equitable society. In Essential Labor, Garbes reframes the physically and mentally draining work of meeting a child's bodily and emotional needs as opportunities to find meaning, to nurture a deeper sense of self, pleasure, and belonging. This is highly skilled labor, work that impacts society at its most foundational level.

Part galvanizing manifesto, part poignant narrative, Essential Labor is a beautifully rendered reflection on care that reminds us of the irrefutable power and beauty of mothering.

Fly Girls : How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History (SIGNED by the author)

Fly Girls : How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History (SIGNED by the author)

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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Exhilarating." --New York Times Book Review

"Riveting." --People

"Keith O'Brien has brought these women--mostly long-hidden and forgotten--back into the light where they belong. And he's done it with grace, sensitivity and a cinematic eye for detail that makes Fly Girls both exhilarating and heartbreaking." --USA Today

The untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s -- and won

Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi-day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.

O'Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high-school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue-blood family's expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men -- and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.

Like Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness.

Know My Name (USED)

Know My Name (USED)

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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Know My Name is a gut-punch, and in the end, somehow, also blessedly hopeful.
--Washington Post

Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, and an instant New York Times bestseller, Chanel Miller's breathtaking memoir gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter. (The Wrap). Her story of trauma and transcendence illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicting a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shining with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.

More Than a Woman

More Than a Woman

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A Good Morning America Book Pick

The author of the international bestseller How to Be a Woman returns with another "hilarious neo-feminist manifesto" (NPR) in which she reflects on parenting, middle-age, marriage, existential crises--and, of course, feminism.

A decade ago, Caitlin Moran burst onto the scene with her instant bestseller, How to Be a Woman, a hilarious and resonant take on feminism, the patriarchy, and all things womanhood. Moran's seminal book followed her from her terrible 13th birthday through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, and beyond--and is considered the inaugural work of the irreverent confessional feminist memoir genre that continues to occupy a major place in the cultural landscape.

Since that publication, it's been a glorious ten years for young women: Barack Obama loves Fleabag, and Dior make "FEMINIST" t-shirts. However, middle-aged women still have some nagging, unanswered questions: Can feminists have Botox? Why isn't there such a thing as "Mum Bod"? Why do hangovers suddenly hurt so much? Is the camel-toe the new erogenous zone? Why do all your clothes suddenly hate you? Has feminism gone too far? Will your To Do List ever end? And WHO'S LOOKING AFTER THE CHILDREN?

As timely as it is hysterically funny, this memoir/manifesto will have readers laughing out loud, blinking back tears, and redefining their views on feminism and the patriarchy. More Than a Woman is a brutally honest, scathingly funny, and absolutely necessary take on the life of the modern woman--and one that only Caitlin Moran can provide.

North  American  Review,  Volume  199,  No.  3,  March  1914
North  American  Review,  Volume  199,  No.  3,  March  1914
North  American  Review,  Volume  199,  No.  3,  March  1914

North American Review, Volume 199, No. 3, March 1914

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North American Review was founded in Boston in 1815 and is the oldest literary magazine in the United States. Contributors include important nineteenth-century American writers and thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Edith Wharton, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman; and twentieth-century writers like William Carlos Williams, John Steinbeck, Thomas Wolfe, William Saroyan, and Flannery O’Connor.

This issue from 1914 includes the article "Two Suffrage Mistakes," by Molly Elliot Seawell, an early American historian and writer who was vehemently opposed to women's suffrage. In her stance against suffrage, she believed that women who voted would be subjected to higher taxes, and could be forced to support their husbands. They would also endure higher rates of illiteracy, poverty, and divorce, would be victims of more violence, and were exposed to socialism. She also believed that woman suffrage would lead to a return of African American voting. Seawell extended her anti-suffrage sentiments to other countries, and she condemned militant English suffragists such as Emmeline Pankhurst, whom she characterized as a serial criminal. [Brent Tarter, "Molly Elliot Seawell (1853–1916)," Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia (1998– ), published 2019 (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/dvb/bio.php?b=Seawell_Molly_Elliot, accessed February 24, 2021)]

Original wraps; 1" top of spine missing; 1" tear at bottom of spine; small tear middle of spine; edges worn; library stamp very faint in upper right corner of cover; staples rusty; text clean.  G