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Cool Women-The Thinking Girls' Guide to the Hippest Women in History
Ed. Pam Nelson Chicago, IL : Girl Press*, 1998
Chock full of tidbits, facts and figurines, Cool Women has something for everyone. The book profiles some well-known stars of womanhood, such as Amelia Earhart, Annie Oakley and Cleopatra, and adds a few surprises, including Nancy Drew and Xena. Fiction aside, all the women in this book have some real things in common: the courage to overcome their fears, learn from their mistakes, and live life to its fullest.
The story of "Rosie the Riveter" hits home with me because of the "women, money, work and housing" theme of this issue of HA! A popular war propaganda symbol (like Uncle Sam), Rosie was also the icon for a generation of homemakers that traded in their kitchen mixers for power drills and assembly lines. The US Government used the symbol of Rosie to convince women that they should replace their fathers, husbands, boyfriends and brothers and get a job. Well, they DID! And they've been fighting for equal rights, equal pay and equal recognition ever since. Rosie started a revolution for women, but get the book to read what happens when the boys come marching home!
In the pages alongside Rosie, there are stories of Apache warriors, Hollywood moviemakers, African rulers, and women artists, scientists, musicians, athletes, writers and rulers from all walks of life. In addition to basic facts, each entry provides information on launching careers, references for further reading and related Internet resources. This book is a great inspiration and I recommend you get it for a daughter, niece, or friend. And read it yourself! You are likely to discover a heroine you never knew!
*Girl Press is dedicated to publishing books that help girls become strong, self-reliant, and ready for life's adventures. A portion of all proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations working with girls.
Nina Aly Elshiekh