Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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Synopsis

   From admired historian—and coiner of one of feminism's most popular slogans—Laurel Thatcher Ulrich comes an exploration of what it means for women to make history.

   In 1976, in an obscure scholarly article, Ulrich wrote, "Well behaved women seldom make history."  Today these words appear on t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, and all sorts of Web sites and blogs.  Ulrich explains how that happened and what it means by looking back at women of the past who challenged the way history was written.  She ranges from the fifteenth-century writer Christine de Pizan, who wrote The Book of the City of Ladies, to the twentieth century’s Virginia Woolf, author of A Room of One's Own.  Ulrich updates their attempts to reimagine female possibilities and looks at the women who didn't try to make history but did.  And she concludes by showing how the 1970s activists who created "second-wave feminism" also created a renaissance in the study of history.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is currently Phillips Professor of Early American History and 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard. Her book A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1795-1812, won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize, and the American Historical Society's John H. Dunning and Joan Kelly Memorial Prizes. Ulrich's discovery of Martha Ballard and work on the diary has been chronicled in a documentary film written and produced by Laurie Kahn-Leavitt with major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Experience television series. Ulrich is also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and many other honors and awards.
 
Published September 23, 2008 by Vintage. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

Kirkus Reviews

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Christine de Pizan, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Virginia Woolf each chronicled in her own way not just the bold, brash women who defied convention, but also the quieter ones who made history by simply recording their lives.

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The New York Times

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Her portraits of four 19th-century women named Harriet, three runaway slaves — Powell, Tubman and Jacobs — and the novelist Beecher Stowe, provide a surfeit of answers to the question Ulrich frames at the end of “Amazons,” of where women’s “fury comes from and why it will not go away.” ...

Sep 30 2007 | Read Full Review of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Mak...

The New York Times

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A scholar traces a proud history of insubordination as committed by notable women.

Sep 30 2007 | Read Full Review of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Mak...

Publishers Weekly

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In 1976, graduate student Ulrich asserted in an obscure scholarly article that “well-behaved women seldom make history.” But Ulrich, now at Harvard, made history, winning the Pulitzer and the Bancroft Prizes for A Midwife’s Tale —and her slogan did, too: it began popping up on T-shirts, greeting ...

Jul 09 2007 | Read Full Review of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Mak...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

The web site of the Sweet Potato Queens of Jackson, Mississippi, a determinedly outrageous women's group, features a T-shirt bearing the slogan "Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History" alongside another that reads "Never Wear Panties to a Party."

Oct 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Mak...

Deseret News

In a nutshell: In 1976, Ulrich, now a Harvard University history professor, inadvertently created a slogan that is the title of her new book.

Oct 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Mak...

Bookmarks Magazine

Ulrich, a pioneer in women's history in the 1970s and 1980s, continues to produce works that provide a fascinating peek into the past-into what a woman's life was, and might still be, were it not for these spirited pioneers whose stories deserve to be remembered.

Dec 03 2007 | Read Full Review of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Mak...

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