Read the stories of 20 amazing women in history, including pirate queen Sayyida al-Hurra, cross-dressing Civil War soldier Cathay Williams, bohemian artist Suzanne Valadon, and poet nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. More
When you think of people in history—artists, athletes, leaders, activists, you name it—what names immediately pop into your head? Maybe you think of famous artists like Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, athletes like Babe Ruth or Muhammad Ali, leaders like Caesar or Napoleon or activists like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. How about the internationally famous sculptor Edmonia Lewis, or three-time Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph? Queen Sayyida al-Hurra, a pirate equal in power to the infamous Barbarossa? Or Katharine McCormick, without whom we wouldn’t have the birth control pill today?
Many more amazing women’s names have been lost to history. Sons’ names, dates of birth, and deeds were diligently recorded while daughters went uncounted and forgotten. (Genghis Kahn had four sons with his wife Börte: Jochi, Chagatai, Ögedei, and Tolui. They also had daughters, but no one knows their names or even how many there were.) Even for relatively famous women like Queen Sayyida, information is scarce. The exact year of her birth is unknown, and nobody has any clue what happened to her after she was deposed in 1542.
I don’t know about you, but this really pisses me off. I want to know more about the lives of these amazing women. I want their names to be as well-known as their male contemporaries. I don’t want them to be forgotten anymore.
In this book I’ve collected the stories of 20 of these amazing women. The history books may have robbed of the fame they deserve, but by passing on their stories we can give these women some measure of justice and inspire more amazing women today.
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