Women's History
Book Reviews


Chronology of Women's History
Kirsten Olsen, Greenwood Press, 1994

The entries in this large almost 400 page hardback begin in 20,000-10,000 B.C. -("Women as well as men participate in cooperative hunts", etc.), and end with religion in 1992 - ("About 800 women are arrested in Teheran for violating Islamic dress codes."). Information is categorized under general status and daily life, politics, literature and visual arts, sports and exploration, activism, business and industry, science, education and scholarship, and religion. There are some weaknesses. The author acknowledges up front that her list of women's accomplishments is not exhaustive, and indeed this is true. (Example: historian Anna Comnena is given an erroneous birth date and is mentioned solely for "cofounding a medical school," which we understood principally was the work of her brother - see this site's March hero). And, the placing of short listings under so many categories produces a disjointed, choppy view of history. The book has laudable strengths, however, such as its emphasis on events as well as personalities, its global view which provides opportunities for comparisons, and its many entries of simply fascinating facts.

Lyn Reese is the author of all the information on this website
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