"America's Women" explores the changing lives of women in the U.S., beginning in 1587 with Eleanor Dare and ending in the present, with discussions on "the pill", Billie Jean King, and economics. In between, the lives of individual women are examined, and records, diaries, and letters are quoted. In addition to the lives of individuals, society's attitudes are explained and we are given a feel for how women in different regions of the county lived. Much of the earlier material is somewhat sketchy in parts, because there are not enough records to pinpoint exactly how American women lived on a day-to-day basis, but later chapters are detailed and often thought-provoking or moving. The chapters on slavery are of particular interest, although much of it is horrifying.
Surprisingly, there is no male-bashing in "America's Women", and the author shows restraint by not pushing a feminist agenda on readers. During critical times in America's history, we are shown both the country as a whole and how small things, like the way women handled menstruation, shoes, corsets, and birth control helped to shape a nation.
This report prepared by E. J. McDonald