10 books like Women Warriors

By Pamela D. Toler,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Women Warriors. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Five

By Hallie Rubenhold,

Book cover of The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

The five women who were Jack the Ripper’s canonical victims have always been just that, his victims. Rubenhold gives them back their identities, in their own right, as mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives and challenges the ‘traditional’ view. For three of them, there is no evidence that they were prostitutes, but all five were women battling personal demons who were down on their luck. They were Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. The Five is not the story of their deaths, but their lives.

The Five

By Hallie Rubenhold,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Five as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NONFICTION 2019
'An angry and important work of historical detection, calling time on the misogyny that has fed the Ripper myth. Powerful and shaming' GUARDIAN

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.

Their murderer was never identified, but…


The Lost

By Daniel Mendelsohn,

Book cover of The Lost: The Search for Six of Six Million

If you’ve ever found yourself obsessed with a family mystery, you’ll be captivated by The Lost. Mendelsohn had always wondered what happened to his great-uncle and aunt, and their four daughters, during the Holocaust. His search starts with ordinary genealogical curiosity but quickly spirals into an epic quest. I admire Mendelsohn’s elegant, lyrical prose and was swept up in his ruminations on what we owe the past. His discoveries are heartbreaking but they also spark hope—by rescuing one ordinary family from oblivion.

The Lost

By Daniel Mendelsohn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A writer's search for his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original and riveting epic, brilliantly exploring the nature of time and memory.

'The Lost' begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust - an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relative's fates. The quest takes him to a…


Wake

By Rebecca Hall, Hugo Martínez (illustrator),

Book cover of Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

This book brings the format of a graphic novel to the subject of women's resistance during enslavement and the trans-Altantic slave trade—and the result is fresh and compelling. As a historian myself, I appreciated the interwtined narratives of Hall's own research quest as a historian following the documentary record—and her reconstruction of the extraordinary revolt of the women held captive in 1772 on the slave-ship Unity. Both the search for truth and the dramatic uprising are conveyed with great skill and emotional power. The account of the Unity revolt calls attention to what we know, how we know it, and what we don't know. But Hall refuses to stop there. Instead, carefully marking speculation as such, Hall offers a fascinating, well-informed, effort to imagine a fuller account of what might have actually happened. We are left with a powerful sense of why this history matters two and a half…

Wake

By Rebecca Hall, Hugo Martínez (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A must-read graphic history. . . an inspired and inspiring defence of heroic women whose struggles could be fuel for a more just future' Guardian

'Not only a riveting tale of Black women's leadership of slave revolts but an equally dramatic story of the engaged scholarship that enabled its discovery' Angela Y. Davis

Women warriors planned and led slave revolts on slave ships during the passage across the Atlantic. They fought their enslavers throughout the Americas. And then they were erased from history.

In Wake Rebecca Hall, a historian, a granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy…


The Perfect Prince

By Ann Wroe,

Book cover of The Perfect Prince: The Mystery of Perkin Warbeck and His Quest for the Throne of England

I love gorgeous sentences alongside a good mystery, and Wroe expertly crafts both. A decade after the Princes in the Tower were presumed murdered, a charismatic young man appeared, claiming to be the younger of the two princes—Richard, Duke of York. His enemies, though, said he was a boatman’s son named Perkin Warbeck. So who was he really? Wroe’s meditation on appearance and identity has even more resonance in the Instagram-era than it did when it was first published. What does it mean to “look the part”? And what matters most—who we think we are, or who others think we might be? 

The Perfect Prince

By Ann Wroe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Perfect Prince as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe

By John A. Lynn II,

Book cover of Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe

This is one of the first scholarly studies of women in and around the battlefield. It is notable for its depiction of women who were active in warfare who were not queens or larger-than-life heroines. It also includes what I think is hands-down the best discussion of the uncomfortable relationship between military history and gender studies that plagues all attempts to write about women in war.

Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe

By John A. Lynn II,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe examines the important roles of women who campaigned with armies from 1500 to 1815. This included those notable female individuals who assumed male identities to serve in the ranks, but far more numerous and essential were the formidable women who, as women, marched in the train of armies. While some worked as full-time or part-time prostitutes, they more generally performed a variety of necessary gendered tasks, including laundering, sewing, cooking, and nursing. Early modern armies were always accompanied by women and regarded them as essential to the well-being of the troops. Lynn…

Women and the First World War

By Susan R. Grayzel,

Book cover of Women and the First World War

This is an excellent introduction to the varied experiences of women in the war, both those on active service as workers or volunteers, those who were victims of the war, fleeing their homes as refugees, and those who remained at home, carrying out domestic roles as wives and mothers in what were often difficult circumstances. It is a book I regularly recommend to my students. Although no book could cover all nations and contexts in a four-year global war, it shows not only how the war had an impact on millions of women’s lives, but also how women’s actions had significant impacts on the war and its legacies. It has a useful chronology of the war, and a good bibliography for further reading.

Women and the First World War

By Susan R. Grayzel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women and the First World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Women and the First World War provides an introduction to the experiences and contributions of women during this important turning point in history. In addition to exploring women's relationship to the war in each of the main protagonist states, the book also looks at the wide-ranging effects of the war on women in Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and North America. Topical in its approach, the book highlights: The heated public debates about women's social. cultural and political roles that the war inspired Thier varied experiences of war Women's representation in propaganda Their roles in peace movements and revolutionary activity…

The Women's Fight

By Thavolia Glymph,

Book cover of The Women's Fight: The Civil War's Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation

Thavolia Glymph analyzes the many ways that women—white and Black, enslaved and free, North and South—sought to promote or constrain the radical transformations promised by the Civil War. She interweaves well-known stories of white nurses and teachers and northern white feminists who labored to expand their claims on the nation with the lesser-known efforts of free, fugitive, and self-emancipated Black women and poor and working-class white women to ensure that the war led to greater liberty. Even some plantation mistresses became more politically active in efforts to impede Union military campaigns. This powerful book expands our concept of activism, forcing us to rethink its many meanings, sites, and goals in times of crisis. 

The Women's Fight

By Thavolia Glymph,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Women's Fight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Historians of the Civil War often speak of "wars within a war--the military fight, wartime struggles on the home front, and the political and moral battle to preserve the Union and end slavery. In this broadly conceived book, Thavolia Glymph provides a comprehensive new history of women's roles and lives in the Civil War--North and South, white and black, slave and free--showing how women were essentially and fully engaged in all three arenas. Glymph focuses on the ideas and ideologies that drove women's actions, allegiances, and politics. We encounter women as they stood their ground, moved into each other's territory,…

Officer, Nurse, Woman

By Kara Dixon Vuic,

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

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.

Officer, Nurse, Woman

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…

In the Midst of Alarms

By Dianne Graves,

Book cover of In the Midst of Alarms: The Untold Story of Women and the War of 1812

Readers are Dianne and her husband Don have been personal friends for many years. Like many people, I was deeply saddened by her untimely death last year. Dianne had a wonderfully fluent written style, so easy to read, and could capture a moment like few others. Her book gives insights into wartime life and the role of women in the early 19th Century in Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto (the York), as well as in Washington DC and Philadelphia. While the men did the fighting, the women backed them up – on the frontier, quite literally. A fascinating book written with passion and insight.

In the Midst of Alarms

By Dianne Graves,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In the Midst of Alarms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Unwomanly Face of War

By Svetlana Alexievich, Larissa Volokhonsky (translator), Richard Pevear (translator)

Book cover of The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II

Many Americans know relatively little about the war on the Eastern Front and the wartime experience of the Soviet Union. The oral histories presented in this extraordinary book come as a revelation, shedding important new light on the role of women—soldiers, doctors, nurses, pilots, partisans, and others—to the Soviet war effort. Alexievich masterfully weaves these stories together. The reader walks away with a fresh appreciation of the Soviet contribution to the victory, the extent of Soviet suffering under the Nazi occupation, the critical role of women in the war, and the ways that we remember (or choose to forget) the past. This has become my go-to book on the Second World War.

The Unwomanly Face of War

By Svetlana Alexievich, Larissa Volokhonsky (translator), Richard Pevear (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Unwomanly Face of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A must read' - Margaret Atwood

'It would be hard to find a book that feels more important or original' - Viv Groskop, Observer

Extraordinary stories from Soviet women who fought in the Second World War - from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"Why, having stood up for and held their own place in a once absolutely male world, have women not stood up for their history? Their words and feelings? A whole world is hidden from us. Their war remains unknown... I want to write the history of that war. A women's history."

In the late…


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