PositiveWall Street JournalMs. Prioleau brings this forgotten woman vividly to life in Diamonds and Deadlines ... The author is sympathetic to her subject, whom she presents as a pathbreaker overcoming the strictures placed on the women of her day. Along the way, she provides a wider picture of the society Miriam inhabited ... There’s not a lot to like about Mrs. Frank Leslie, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to like about Diamonds and Deadlines. Part of the pleasure of the book is the Kim Kardashian factor—reading about a woman who breaches social norms and succeeds on her own terms ... But it’s a leap to claim, as the author does, that Miriam was a feminist pioneer who was \'leagues ahead of her time\' ... It is undeniable that Mrs. Frank Leslie realized her ambitions, finding admiration, excitement and money along with some degree of professional distinction. Her life story makes for an agreeable read, if not always a salutary one.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalNew Women in the Old West is really two books deftly stitched together. It is a brisk history of the galvanizing role played by Western women in the national struggle for suffrage. It is also a kind of group portrait of the independent, resourceful women who managed to forge places for themselves in a man’s world. Ms. Gallagher tells her story through a sometimes dizzying array of mini-biographies of dozens of women ... A testament to the depth of Ms. Gallagher’s research is the range of her cast of characters ... Ms. Gallagher has an eye for the telling detail ... a number of the women Ms. Gallagher profiles held prejudices that were commonplace in their day but are deplored in ours. She doesn’t shy away from discussion of their racist, anti-immigrant or anti-Catholic views, but neither does she let those views \'cancel\' the women’s accomplishments ... The author’s interpretation of American history overall is another story. Ms. Gallagher largely buys into the left’s negative portrait of America’s past ... New Women in the Old West would be a better book if Ms. Gallagher hadn’t relied on the Howard Zinn version of American history. Otherwise, her chronicle is both informative and enjoyable to read.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalIn telling the stories of Martha Wright and Frances Seward, Ms. Wickenden relies heavily on their letters and diaries and those of close family members. The result is an intimate, detailed portrait of the women, including the effect that their activism had on their families ... Harriet Tubman, who was illiterate and left no written record, is nevertheless the one who comes most alive in the book’s pages ... One of the pleasures of The Agitators is the cast of supporting characters who pass through its pages ... carries no political message, but Ms. Wickenden’s assessment of the era leading up to the Civil War will resonate with readers in our own fractious age: \'The nation never had been so politically engaged—or so divided.\'
RaveThe Wall Street Journal[Mary Roberts] Rinehart is just one of the nearly three dozen female war correspondents whose personalities and accomplishments Chris Dubbs brings vividly to life in An Unladylike Profession. This slice of World War I history offers insights into American journalism as well as into the terrible conflict itself ... He writes with a sure hand, drawing from published articles, memoirs, diaries and letters. He skillfully presents each woman’s story in a linked series of riveting—sometimes heart-breaking—narratives ... One of the pleasures of An Unladylike Profession is sampling the journalistic prose of more than a century ago ... Mr. Dubbs remarks on the reporter’s duty to report the truth no matter how uncomfortable it might be. The journalists profiled in this absorbing book lived up to that responsibility.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalBased on diaries, correspondence and newspaper accounts, it’s an absorbing and powerful narrative of how two determined women used the crisis of war to create an opportunity to accomplish goals that they couldn’t achieve in peacetime ... Ms. Moore has an eye for detail that brings her story to life ... What did these two women, who had faced so much hostility and sexism in the course of their careers, think of men? No Man’s Land doesn’t fully answer that question beyond noting that their exposure to the valor and suffering of the young soldiers they treated helped them see men’s best side. It also relates how they advised a young doctor in their employ not to marry but instead to focus exclusively on her work.
Julie Des Jardins
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal...noteworthy ... a useful contribution to the history of American journalism. It’s odd, though, that the author seldom lets Meloney speak for herself by quoting from her journalism and letters. It’s a perplexingomission in a biography of someone who wrote tens of thousands of words ... Ms. Des Jardins’s portrayal of Meloney as one of the most powerful players of her age is persuasive. The use of a girlish nickname smacks of a condescension that the author clearly doesn’t wish to imply.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalA swift-moving, engrossing narrative. It is especially good at describing the nursing practices of the day, when, as Ms. Seiple notes, medicine was more \'a healing art than a medical science.\' The author deftly weaves in excerpts from Alcott’s journal and letters home, as well as other contemporary sources.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal\"[Miller\'s] book is a deeply researched account of the affair and its aftermath, along with an examination of the changing sexual mores of the late 19th century ... In today’s #MeToo world, Bringing Down the Colonel reverberates in unexpected ways.\
Mary Mann Hamilton
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal...a riveting and instructive read ... Hamilton is a natural-born storyteller, and her narrative never lags. She also has a sense for the telling detail ... [some] stories are unsettling, but they are part of the historical record. Hamilton’s first-person accounts are important testimonials about what used to be.