100 books like Women at the Front

By Jane E. Schultz,

Here are 100 books that Women at the Front fans have personally recommended if you like Women at the Front. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Hospital Sketches

Ronald S. Coddington Author Of African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album

From my list on the American Civil War by those who experienced it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two boyhood experiences inspired my fascination with the Civil War: a family trip to Gettysburg and purchasing original photographs of soldiers at flea markets. Captivated by the old photos, I became an avid collector of Civil War-era portrait photography. Curiosity about identified individuals in my collection led me on a lifelong journey to tell their stories. In 2001, I started a column, Faces of War, in the Civil War News. Since then, I’ve profiled hundreds of participants in the column, and in six books. In 2013, I became the fourth editor and publisher of Military Images, a quarterly journal that showcases, interprets, and preserves Civil War photography.

Ronald's book list on the American Civil War by those who experienced it

Ronald S. Coddington Why did Ronald love this book?

Early in the war, writer Louisa May Alcott journeyed to the nation’s capital to care for sick and wounded soldiers. Over a period of six weeks, she experienced firsthand the rigors of life in crowded hospital wards as a nurse to men suffering from disease and wounds. She recorded her observations in a series of accounts printed in a Boston newspaper. These writings formed the basis of Hospital Sketches. Published a month after the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, when the outcome of the war remained uncertain, Alcott’s words encouraged other women to support the U.S. war effort, and remind us today of the critical role of nurses in times of conflict.

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Hospital Sketches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Complete and unabridged paperback edition.

Collection of short stories.

First published in 1863.


Book cover of With Courage and Delicacy: Civil War on the Peninsula: Women and the U.S. Sanitary Commission

Jocelyn Green Author Of Wedded to War

From my list on women nurses during the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jocelyn Green is the bestselling and award-winning author of eighteen books as of 2021. Her historical fiction has been acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, the Historical Novel Society, and the Military Writers Society of America.

Jocelyn's book list on women nurses during the Civil War

Jocelyn Green Why did Jocelyn love this book?

This book captures the work of the little-known U.S. Sanitary Commission, the pre-cursor to the Red Cross, and its influence during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862. Women nurses were the lifeblood of the hospital transports that saved hundreds of lives.

By Nancy Scripture Garrison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked With Courage and Delicacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Civil War on the Peninsula: Women and the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The U.S. Sanitary Commission was a volunteer medical and relief organization during the Civil War, in which women played a significant role. The author draws on the letters of women serving in McClellan's Peninsula campaign of 1862 to integrate social, cultural and military history into a gripping narrative.


Book cover of Kate Cumming's Civil War Journal

Jocelyn Green Author Of Wedded to War

From my list on women nurses during the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jocelyn Green is the bestselling and award-winning author of eighteen books as of 2021. Her historical fiction has been acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, the Historical Novel Society, and the Military Writers Society of America.

Jocelyn's book list on women nurses during the Civil War

Jocelyn Green Why did Jocelyn love this book?

This journal gives us a look into the experiences of Confederate nurse, Kate Cumming. She was educated and intelligent, but blind to the wrongs of slavery in her passion for the Southern cause. Her experience as a Civil War nurse offers a contrast to those of Union nurses.

By Kate Cumming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kate Cumming's Civil War Journal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Scottish-born, Alabama-bred Kate Cumming was one of the first women to offer her services for the care of the South's wounded soldiers. Her detailed journal, first published in 1866, provides a riveting look behind the lines of Civil War action in depicting civilian attitudes, army medical practices, and the administrative workings of the Confederate hospital system.


Book cover of Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman's Civil War Memoir

Jocelyn Green Author Of Wedded to War

From my list on women nurses during the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jocelyn Green is the bestselling and award-winning author of eighteen books as of 2021. Her historical fiction has been acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, the Historical Novel Society, and the Military Writers Society of America.

Jocelyn's book list on women nurses during the Civil War

Jocelyn Green Why did Jocelyn love this book?

Many African American women served as nurses, especially in the South, as Susie King Taylor did. But their stories have largely gone unrecorded. This memoir adds an important perspective to any consideration of Civil War nurses.

By Susie King Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reminiscences of My Life in Camp as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Near the end of her classic wartime account, Susie King Taylor writes, ""There are many people who do not know what some of the colored women did during the war."" For her own part, Taylor spent four years - without pay or formal training - nursing sick and wounded members of a black regiment of Union soldiers. In addition, she worked as a camp cook, laundress, and even teacher. Written from a perspective unique in the literature of the Civil War, ""Reminiscences of My Life in Camp"" not only chronicles daily life on the battlefront but also records interactions between…


Book cover of Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War

Heidi Chiavaroli Author Of The Orchard House

From my list on Louisa May Alcott and her life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Heidi Chiavaroli first knew the magic of history and story while standing in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom as a twelve-year-old. Her favorite pastime is exploring places that whisper of historical secrets in her home state of Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and poodle puppy. Her latest dual timeline novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott's life.

Heidi's book list on Louisa May Alcott and her life

Heidi Chiavaroli Why did Heidi love this book?

We know Louisa May Alcott primarily as an author and the writer of the great masterpiece, Little Women, but many do not realize she was also a nurse during the Civil War. This book explores how her experiences in Washington D.C. as a nurse impacted her writing as well as her beliefs. Easy to read, captivating account. Highly recommend!

By Samantha Seiple,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louisa on the Front Lines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An eye-opening look at Little Women author Louisa May Alcott's time as a Civil War nurse, and the far-reaching implications her service had on her writing and her activism

Louisa on the Frontlines is the first narrative nonfiction book focusing on the least-known aspect of Louisa May Alcott's career -- her time spent as a nurse during the Civil War. Though her service was brief, the dramatic experience was one that she considered pivotal in helping her write the beloved classic Little Women. It also deeply affected her tenuous relationship with her father, and inspired her commitment to abolitionism. Through…


Book cover of Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War

Jessica Frazier Author Of Women's Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam War Era

From my list on women and the US war in Vietnam.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into researching women’s antiwar activism during the U.S. war in Vietnam by chance when I came across evidence of middle-aged American women traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia in 1965 to meet with women from North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front—the enemies of the United States at the time. Discovering that some of these same U.S. women (and many others), would later travel to Hanoi despite the United States conducting extensive bombing raids over North Vietnam, despite travel to North Vietnam being prohibited, and despite some of the women having young children at home, simply astounded me, and I had to find out more.

Jessica's book list on women and the US war in Vietnam

Jessica Frazier Why did Jessica love this book?

Kara Dixon Vuic’s Officer, Nurse, Woman reveals the lives and livelihoods of nurses in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war years. Through oral histories, she presents colorful anecdotes that make one laugh, shudder, and cry. In addition to lively stories, Vuic shows the Army’s contradictory treatment of and expectations toward women, their gender, and their sexuality. For example, recruitment materials for women as nurses promised both adventure and a secure career path, including equal pay as their male counterparts. Yet, women in the military also faced sexism, harassment, and assault with little means of recourse. Both a fun and challenging read, Officer, Nurse, Woman urges readers to consider gendered assumptions that continue to shape military policy today.

By Kara Dixon Vuic,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Officer, Nurse, Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"'I never got a chance to be a girl,' Kate O'Hare Palmer lamented, thirty-four years after her tour as an army nurse in Vietnam. Although proud of having served, she felt that the war she never understood had robbed her of her innocence and forced her to grow up too quickly. As depicted in a photograph taken late in her tour, long hours in the operating room exhausted her both physically and mentally. Her tired eyes and gaunt face reflected th e weariness she felt after treating countless patients, some dying, some maimed, all, like her, forever changed. Still, she…


Book cover of Unknown Warriors: The Letters of Kate Luard RRC and Bar, Nursing Sister in France 1914-1918

Alison Fell Author Of Women as Veterans in Britain and France After the First World War

From my list on women and the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the First World War ever since I read Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth at the age of 19. When I lived in France in my twenties I started to read French nurses’ memoirs and diaries, and for the last fifteen years or so have continued to read and write about women’s experiences during and after the war as a university academic researcher, often from a comparative perspective. Men’s stories and memories of the First World War still dominate our understanding of it, but I believe that women’s perspectives give us a vital and often overlooked insight into the war and its consequences.

Alison's book list on women and the First World War

Alison Fell Why did Alison love this book?

Although it’s not as well-known as Vera Brittain’s powerful 1933 memoir Testament of Youth, British military nurse Kate Luard’s letters deserve to be widely read, for the vivid and moving picture they paint of life in a front-line hospital in the last two years of the war. Luard had already worked as a military nurse in the Boer War, and was a confident and highly skilled nurse, but it is clear that four years of nursing seriously ill and wounded soldiers often stretched her to her professional and emotional limits. There are lighter moments, too, and Luard pays tribute not only to the men she nursed, but to the courageous and tenacious women she worked alongside. Make sure you also read nurse historian Christine Hallett and Tim Luard’s excellent introduction.

By John Stevens, Caroline Stevens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unknown Warriors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The words of Unknown Warriors resonate as powerfully today as when first written. The book offers a very personal glimpse into the hidden world of the military field hospital where patients struggled with pain and trauma, and nurses fought to save lives and preserve emotional integrity.

The book's author was one of a select number of fully trained military nurses who worked in hospital trains and casualty clearing stations during the First World War, coming as close to the front as a woman could. Kate Luard was already a war veteran when she arrived in France in 1914, aged 42,…


Book cover of Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War: More Than Binding Men's Wounds

Joshua A. Sanborn Author Of Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire

From my list on Russia in World War I.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of history at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, and I’ve been studying Russia ever since visiting the Soviet Union as a college student in 1990. I’ve been particularly interested in seeking connections between violence and other dimensions of historical experience. My first book (Drafting the Russian Nation) explored connections between political ideologies and violence, Imperial Apocalypse is in part a social history of violence, and my current project is examining the connection between literary cultures, professional communities, and the violence of the Cold War.

Joshua's book list on Russia in World War I

Joshua A. Sanborn Why did Joshua love this book?

Stoff’s work on women’s history during the war has been consistently excellent, starting with her book on women soldiers and continuing with this book. One of the most significant developments of the war was the need to dramatically expand medical care, especially for sick and wounded soldiers. Women rushed in to fill this need, with significant consequences not only for the health of the army but also the nature of gender and sexual relations throughout the whole country.

By Laurie S. Stoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They are war stories, filled with danger and deprivation, excitement and opportunity, sorrow and trauma, scandal and controversy-and because they are the war stories of nurses, they remain largely untold. Laurie Stoff's pioneering work brings the wartime experiences of Russia's "Sisters of Mercy" out of the shadows to show how these nurses of the Great War, far from merely binding wounds, provided vital services that put them squarely in traditionally "masculine" territory, both literally and figuratively.

While Russian nursing shared many features of women's medical service in other nations, it was in some ways profoundly different. Like soldiers and doctors,…


Book cover of Healing Wounds: A Vietnam War Combat Nurse's 10-Year Fight to Win Women a Place of Honor in Washington, D.C.

Marvin J. Wolf Author Of M-9

From my list on to safely satisfy your lust for action and mystery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 13 years a soldier and saw combat in Vietnam. There I met some of the finest men this country has ever produced and became hooked on the exploits of brave men. I have written many books about men—and women—in peril, and strive always for accurate accounts.

Marvin's book list on to safely satisfy your lust for action and mystery

Marvin J. Wolf Why did Marvin love this book?

Evans was the power behind the creation of the Vietnam Women's Memorial located at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Twenty-some years ago, she called me—we didn’t know each other—and asked to meet. She was looking for help in writing about her experiences as a combat nurse in Vietnam, and how that led to her spending ten years to create the Vietnam Woman’s Memorial. We spent a long lunch at a beachfront bistro in Venice, CA talking, and finally agreed that she should have the catharsis from writing her book, when she was ready. This is that book, and it tells about war and politics—war by peaceful means—from a woman’s perspective. Positively riveting story by an extraordinary woman.

By Diane Carlson Evans, Bob Welch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Healing Wounds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is the price of honor? It took ten years for Vietnam War nurse Diane Carlson Evans to answer that question—and the answer was a heavy one.

In 1983, when Evans came up with the vision for the first-ever memorial on the National Mall to honor women who’d worn a military uniform, she wouldn’t be deterred. She remembered not only her sister veterans, but also the hundreds of young wounded men she had cared for, as she expressed during a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C.: “Women didn’t have to enter military service, but we stepped up to serve believing we…


Book cover of Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not

Lisa M. Lane Author Of Murder at Old St. Thomas's

From my list on the wonders of Victorian medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been interested in the history of medicine, particularly the ways in which historical methods are portrayed to be inferior to modern medicine. As a historian, I am alternately amused and horrified at the way we go overboard in discarding historical methods of healthcare, ridding ourselves of perfectly useful techniques, drugs, and therapies. The more I learn about older curative methods, the more I’ve become sensitive to the knowledge and technologies that have been lost. At the same time, I am fascinated by new technologies, and find anesthesia particularly captivating as a technique that improved survival and recovery from what had previously been deadly conditions.

Lisa's book list on the wonders of Victorian medicine

Lisa M. Lane Why did Lisa love this book?

Although known for being the “Lady with the Lamp” during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale was also a statistician and tireless crusader for more hygienic conditions in hospitals both temporary and permanent. This book explains how to nurse a loved one or client at home, and includes advice we should follow today, particularly about ventilation in the sickroom. When she herself became ill later in life, she became a sofa-bound activist, influencing policies via correspondence. Nightingale founded a nursing school at St. Thomas’s Hospital, and the nurse probationers featured in my book attended her school. Mrs. Sarah Wardroper, a character in the novel, was Nightingale’s lieutenant in real life.

By Florence Nightingale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Notes on Nursing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written by the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, Notes of Nursing was the first book of its kind. It was originally published when the simple rules of health were only beginning to be known. Its topics were of vital importance for the well-being and recovery of patients, when hospitals were riddled with infection.

In this edition, Mark Stinson adds his commentary, writing that this book "portrays the background for understanding the historical evolution from Nightingale’s experiences and sine qa non of her day to today’s utilization of evidence-based medicine in healthcare. The Nightingale legacy is also a call to…


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