Women's History
Book Reviews


Battle Cries and Lullabies: Women in War From Prehistory to the Present
Linda Grant De Pauw, University of Oklahoma Press, ©1998

This book sets out to show the "profound and often hidden fact" that "women have always and everywhere been inextricably involved in war." After opening chapters deal with "loaded questions...considering the topic of women in war," the author gives us women who were victims, instigators, civilian camp followers, ordinary soldiers, war heroes, and defenders of town and hearth. Her examples start with descriptions of war among the neolithic people, and end with a discussion of the contemporary participation of female soldiers in humanitarian efforts. Like most sweeping historical overviews, there are some weaknesses. De Pauw, to her credit, admits the book's over emphasis on the participation of women in the western world. And, the short summaries of periods and cultures prevents the depth that is needed for a more complex, and sometimes more accurate, portrait of women and war. Yet, this is our most recommend resource for those seeking information on the "important and fascinating" history of women and war.

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