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4,000 Years of Uppity Women: Rebellious Belles, Daring Dames, and Headstrong Heroines Through the Ages

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Since ancient times, irrepressible women have broken all kinds of barriers. They ruled. They invented. They cured people. They killed people. They ran cities and businesses. The won races, athletic and political. They explored. They bankrolled explorers. They even bankrolled religions. Almost every organized religion, from Christianity to Buddhism to Quaker, has gotten off Since ancient times, irrepressible women have broken all kinds of barriers. They ruled. They invented. They cured people. They killed people. They ran cities and businesses. The won races, athletic and political. They explored. They bankrolled explorers. They even bankrolled religions. Almost every organized religion, from Christianity to Buddhism to Quaker, has gotten off the ground thanks to the hard work and cold cash of women! Most traditional histories written by men ignore, obscure, or erase the role of women, especially those who challenge the status quo. But the evidence of their achievements exists everywhere: in writings, coins, artifacts, graffiti, music, portraits, legal transcripts, love notes, and hate mail. For more than twenty years, Vicki Leon has been examining this evidence, chasing clues however faint and unconventional, and reporting her findings in numerous books, including the delightful four volume Uppity Women series. 4,000 Years of Uppity Women features the best of that series, chosen by Leon herself. It focuses not on legendary goddesses or literary characters but on real women (though many of them did become the subjects of poems, plays, and stories).


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Since ancient times, irrepressible women have broken all kinds of barriers. They ruled. They invented. They cured people. They killed people. They ran cities and businesses. The won races, athletic and political. They explored. They bankrolled explorers. They even bankrolled religions. Almost every organized religion, from Christianity to Buddhism to Quaker, has gotten off Since ancient times, irrepressible women have broken all kinds of barriers. They ruled. They invented. They cured people. They killed people. They ran cities and businesses. The won races, athletic and political. They explored. They bankrolled explorers. They even bankrolled religions. Almost every organized religion, from Christianity to Buddhism to Quaker, has gotten off the ground thanks to the hard work and cold cash of women! Most traditional histories written by men ignore, obscure, or erase the role of women, especially those who challenge the status quo. But the evidence of their achievements exists everywhere: in writings, coins, artifacts, graffiti, music, portraits, legal transcripts, love notes, and hate mail. For more than twenty years, Vicki Leon has been examining this evidence, chasing clues however faint and unconventional, and reporting her findings in numerous books, including the delightful four volume Uppity Women series. 4,000 Years of Uppity Women features the best of that series, chosen by Leon herself. It focuses not on legendary goddesses or literary characters but on real women (though many of them did become the subjects of poems, plays, and stories).

30 review for 4,000 Years of Uppity Women: Rebellious Belles, Daring Dames, and Headstrong Heroines Through the Ages

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda LaRoche

    While it may be clear to some that author Vicki Leon did research, it wasn't to me. In fact I wondered why she chose to take up space with gibberish instead of real writing material. Uppity Women is written in a way that is ridiculous and gets in the way of the material. She tries too hard to be funny that's she's not. With attempts at being humorous and often referring to women by nicknames that she herself has created, she chooses to use a dated, cool-cat style that just doesn't suit the mater While it may be clear to some that author Vicki Leon did research, it wasn't to me. In fact I wondered why she chose to take up space with gibberish instead of real writing material. Uppity Women is written in a way that is ridiculous and gets in the way of the material. She tries too hard to be funny that's she's not. With attempts at being humorous and often referring to women by nicknames that she herself has created, she chooses to use a dated, cool-cat style that just doesn't suit the material, and it left me wondering where is her voice? It's a bunch of jargon that robs the message- the women in history are what counts and why does she belittle their accounts with her own biased jargon and insult the intelligence of her reader. I started to flip through pages and went into the more contemporary subjects to find a degree of “real-ness.” That's when I realized it wasn't about the characters at all, her writing left me feeling that I hadn't learned a thing from the book. I expected this book to have potential. It is frustrating when potential is wasted. It is wonderful that women are beginning to receive the historical attention they deserve - however, flippant and downright silly historical abstracts like Uppity Women do a disservice to women's history. I can forgive the broad take on when the middle ages took place, but struggled that the book itself is entirely composed of one or two page summaries of the lives and "accomplishments" of women during the middle ages. That so little information is written about the women discussed is another disappointment. More depth and less breadth would have made a much better read. The choice of women presented further detracts from the book. While many women who deserve recognition for real contributions are included, there are many, many more women included who had no historical contribution whatsoever. And she excluded powerful women. Take for example Hypatia, from Egypt, who during the Middle Ages, was the world's greatest living mathematician and a woman, a physically beautiful woman, and a woman who was simultaneously the world's leading astronomer. As an intellectual, she was horrifically tortured and murdered by a Christian mob in a zeal of religious punishment. No mention of her. A final irritation were outright historical inaccuracies; for example, claiming that Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince for Catherine d' Medici is simply inexcusable in a history book. It also doesn't do anything for the strength of women, in fact, it undermines.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Enjoyable for "uppity women" of all ages and curious men, too. Nice broad range throughout time of examples. Even the rather more notorious ones are fun.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate Lynn

    1.5 stars León's book is absolutely crammed with women throughout the ages. I enjoyed finding women I had never heard of, but I wish the author had chosen less women and then expanded on their life and why they are important to history. Honestly, some of the women shouldn't have been in here. Others who are notable and not well known were missing. Don't get me started on her treatment of Sally Hemings. The section for her is titled "What "Love Slave" Once Meant," yikes. The language used also bot 1.5 stars León's book is absolutely crammed with women throughout the ages. I enjoyed finding women I had never heard of, but I wish the author had chosen less women and then expanded on their life and why they are important to history. Honestly, some of the women shouldn't have been in here. Others who are notable and not well known were missing. Don't get me started on her treatment of Sally Hemings. The section for her is titled "What "Love Slave" Once Meant," yikes. The language used also bothered me. I understand trying to write outside of the scholarly voice, but Leon tried too hard to make it relatable to today's readers. It is chalk full of cliches and slang phrases. It was beyond annoying. The images used are another problem. They may have belonged to the time period being discussed, but the employment of captions that have no relation to what is shown or expanding on the woman being looked at is absolutely pointless.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Adams

    There is one aisle I should never, ever visit at Barnes and Noble; but oh the treasurers I would miss. I really can’t walk into one of those stores without browsing up and down the bargain aisle. Not only are there delightful treasures, but they are at such tempting prices. Even though I’m now in publishing and know what those discounts mean to the author; well, they’re irresistible. This past week I finally had an opportunity to check out one of those bargains and had a few much needed giggles. There is one aisle I should never, ever visit at Barnes and Noble; but oh the treasurers I would miss. I really can’t walk into one of those stores without browsing up and down the bargain aisle. Not only are there delightful treasures, but they are at such tempting prices. Even though I’m now in publishing and know what those discounts mean to the author; well, they’re irresistible. This past week I finally had an opportunity to check out one of those bargains and had a few much needed giggles. Leon has created a little book of vignettes about the life and times of a number of women from the past. This is a rollicking quick read. It is obviously well researched. You are introduced to the antics of ruler and slave, mistress and bored wife, business woman, intellectual, highway robber, patriot, nun and scoundrel. Some of these women were way ahead of their time; some just made the best use possible of the available resources. Here are a few of these windows on the past. Fabiola, an early Christian. Long before the Nightingale of the Crimean war, Fabiola established the first free public hospital in the Western world. She didn’t wait for her patients to come to her – she went out and found them. Back in the time of Alchemists, and interesting lady named Mary Prophetissa not only contributed much to the science of chemistry, she is the inventor of the double boiler. It must have been very helpful boiling and brewing all those potions. I loved the robbers and pirates, the brave patriots and Australian who arrived as a criminal and ended up on a $20 bill. I learned that Betsy Ross did not create the Old Glory that inspired Francis Scott Key was one Baltimore widow named Mary Young Pickersgill. She created a wool flag that was 42 feet long and 30 feet wide. It used 400 yards of material and weighed 85 pounds. Pickersgill’s handwritten invoice was $405.90. A couple of other ladies never mentioned in such rousing poetry as Paul Revere is a lady who road on horseback for 10 miles alerting the country folk of an impending attack (Mr. Revere didn’t make it that far) and a Quaker woman who bluffed her way through enemy lines to warn Washington of an impending attack. Never lying through her bluffing or through her integration (evidently the right questions were not asked) she was still kicked out of the Friends for being too involved in the war. Many bits and pieces of the high and the really low, the celibate and those who found their identity less focused on the opposite sex, or not focused at all. Each and every one had an impact on her times and some far into the future. It’s a great short read and I highly recommend it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    LynnDee (LynnDee's Library)

    Lots of tasty morsels of badass ladies being uppity. Some ladies I had heard of, and others I hadn't, so my education continues!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    People who know me well know that I'm a big fan of women who step out of what's expected of them by "civilized" society, so naturally when I saw this title in B&N's uber-clearance sale, I had to get it. From ancient times to 1899, Leon gives us a peek at the women who dared to be different. There are some expected big names (like Cleopatra), but there are more women you've never heard of doing extraordinary things -- good and bad. Book printers, blacksmiths, pirates, revolutionary fighters -- th People who know me well know that I'm a big fan of women who step out of what's expected of them by "civilized" society, so naturally when I saw this title in B&N's uber-clearance sale, I had to get it. From ancient times to 1899, Leon gives us a peek at the women who dared to be different. There are some expected big names (like Cleopatra), but there are more women you've never heard of doing extraordinary things -- good and bad. Book printers, blacksmiths, pirates, revolutionary fighters -- they're in there. What was very exciting to me was that I learned in the introduction that this book is a Cliff's Notes of the author's original 4-volume set of uppity women. Now I'm beginning the search for the set.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    It was a lot of fun to read about all these women who have been hidden in history. While the stories were good, I found it best to read a couple in a setting. Too many in one sitting got repetitive. Also, due to the length of the entries (a couple of paragraphs), the ladies sometimes became interchangeable. Don't read this expecting an in depth analysis and also be prepared for a light-hearted biography that's tongue-in-cheek, not serious academia. But really, this was just a lot of fun and really It was a lot of fun to read about all these women who have been hidden in history. While the stories were good, I found it best to read a couple in a setting. Too many in one sitting got repetitive. Also, due to the length of the entries (a couple of paragraphs), the ladies sometimes became interchangeable. Don't read this expecting an in depth analysis and also be prepared for a light-hearted biography that's tongue-in-cheek, not serious academia. But really, this was just a lot of fun and really inspiring. I'll be passing this on to my mom.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gaby

    I absolutely loved the premise of this book and was excited to read about plenty of "uppity women" throughout history as this is an area that I am interested in but haven't done much research on. I thought this was a good introduction to the subject and a good springboard for further research. However, I could not get past the writing style of this author! The informality made her seem almost flippant, and it bothered me to no end, but this is an entirely personal opinion. Some readers may enjoy I absolutely loved the premise of this book and was excited to read about plenty of "uppity women" throughout history as this is an area that I am interested in but haven't done much research on. I thought this was a good introduction to the subject and a good springboard for further research. However, I could not get past the writing style of this author! The informality made her seem almost flippant, and it bothered me to no end, but this is an entirely personal opinion. Some readers may enjoy a more relaxed writing style, especially when it comes to history, which can be dry at times. Another thing that disappointed me greatly was that only 1-2 pages were dedicated to each story, and it felt more like León was trying to pack in too many stories and sacrificed depth. Though I don't mean to disparage any of the women's stories, there were many whose historical significance is questionable. This book could be improved by cutting some of the women in order to focus more time on the stories of more notable women and to include women past 1899. I also believed that there were glaring omissions of women with great historical significance, such as Ada Lovelace (first "computer programmer") and Mary Anning (did extensive work discovering our first dinosaur fossils). A huge plus for this book was the diversity of women explored in terms of race, nationality, ethnicity, and age. This was an excellent quick history book that suffered only from annoying writing and too much brevity.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Akemi G.

    Looks like this book is getting poor reviews for its casual writing style. I'm concerned; you cannot judge the historical accuracy of the content by the writing style. It would be easy to write serious-sounding prose with fake evidences. I'm not defending this book. While it's a fun read about the many women we seldom hear about in history classes, I do doubt at least a handful of cases. Chiyome is a good example. The story about Mochizuki Chiyome being a ninja--and even organized a school for n Looks like this book is getting poor reviews for its casual writing style. I'm concerned; you cannot judge the historical accuracy of the content by the writing style. It would be easy to write serious-sounding prose with fake evidences. I'm not defending this book. While it's a fun read about the many women we seldom hear about in history classes, I do doubt at least a handful of cases. Chiyome is a good example. The story about Mochizuki Chiyome being a ninja--and even organized a school for ninja--first appeared in the 20th century book. No contemporary record means the story is most likely made up later. Further, I'd add that very few women--even noble women--were recorded by their personal names in those days in Japan. A widow of an unaccomplished samurai? Let me just tell you that we don't know the names of Lord Takeda (her husband's lord--if she existed)'s wives. It is appealing, however, isn't it? Sexy female ninjas! and sly master matron. This book probably contains this kind of unexamined fake stories as well as true stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Red Kempf

    This covers all those subjects and more. The uppity women featured have an astounding diversity as a group. Many wouldn't want to be in the same group as the others. 4,000 Years of Uppity Women is as historically accurate as it can, and when the switch from known facts move to probable theories it is well noted. As with each of the individual Uppity Women books, this only goes in chronological order. It can be picked up and put down or even opened to any page and you won't be lost. Each woman has This covers all those subjects and more. The uppity women featured have an astounding diversity as a group. Many wouldn't want to be in the same group as the others. 4,000 Years of Uppity Women is as historically accurate as it can, and when the switch from known facts move to probable theories it is well noted. As with each of the individual Uppity Women books, this only goes in chronological order. It can be picked up and put down or even opened to any page and you won't be lost. Each woman has her own story section. I like seeing how the uppity changes throughout the time periods. I recommend this for everyone because it has something for everyone. There is humor, horror, love, and lust. Maybe not the best for children, but over 10 should be fine. Great book!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I have nothing against colloquial, casual writing about history, that's how I talk about historical figures all the time. However, I felt like this book frequently came off as extremely flip about the suffering these women experienced, especially when it came to enslaved women like Sally Hemings. 2 1/2 stars for at least appearing to be well researched and for not glossing over evidence that many of these notable women were romantically involved with other women.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jedimelinda

    If I could, I would give 4,000 Years of Uppity Women: Rebellious Belles, Daring Dames, and Headstrong Heroines Through the Ages 2-1/2 stars. (I wish Goodreads would change the rating system so we could give half stars to books!) It was better than ok, but I can't really say I quite "liked" the book. One good feature of this accumulation of notable and (for the most part) not-s0-well-known women who made a mark on history (as a whole) or in their own corners of the globe was that the entries were If I could, I would give 4,000 Years of Uppity Women: Rebellious Belles, Daring Dames, and Headstrong Heroines Through the Ages 2-1/2 stars. (I wish Goodreads would change the rating system so we could give half stars to books!) It was better than ok, but I can't really say I quite "liked" the book. One good feature of this accumulation of notable and (for the most part) not-s0-well-known women who made a mark on history (as a whole) or in their own corners of the globe was that the entries were rather short. (The longer -- about three to three and one-half pages -- entries featured some of the more well-known women throughout history.) That gives the reader a small taste of who all these women were. The downsides to the book were many: in some cases, the entries were too short (but perhaps that is because there is so little known/written about many women who bucked society and forged their own paths); the book omits many women who were instrumental through history; and the book barely makes its way into the 19th Century, thus missing a slew of women who left their marks on history. The book's highlight -- Vicki Leon's turn of a phrase that lent a lilt to many of the entries that I found both a tad sarcastic (without being cruel) and refreshing, thus adding a touch of humor at times. It took me almost two years to complete this book (which is not that thick, by the way). I would pick it up in between reading novels (my preferred reading material). Since each entry was so short, and the book dealt with many different people, it was an easy book to put down and pick up over the course of all this time, thus making it perfect "filler" reading material. Happy Reading! :-)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I didn't like the format or the use of "quotes" that weren't quotes. I was expecting more history I guess. But... I did get some new names of interesting ladies I might seek out in the future for legit historical biographies

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This non-fiction book is a very easy read, and does what it promises, giving us mini-biographies of women throughout history who, one way or another, did things their way, without asking permission. I enjoyed reading this book, as it was perfect for reading before bedtime. The author goes through four major sections: Uppity Women of Ancient Times (ca. 2500 B.C. – A.D. 450), Uppity Women of Medieval Times (ca. A.D. 450 – 1450), Uppity Women of Renaissance Times (1450 -1750), and Uppity Women of th This non-fiction book is a very easy read, and does what it promises, giving us mini-biographies of women throughout history who, one way or another, did things their way, without asking permission. I enjoyed reading this book, as it was perfect for reading before bedtime. The author goes through four major sections: Uppity Women of Ancient Times (ca. 2500 B.C. – A.D. 450), Uppity Women of Medieval Times (ca. A.D. 450 – 1450), Uppity Women of Renaissance Times (1450 -1750), and Uppity Women of the New World (late 1500s – 1899). (Apparently, we have had no Uppity Women in the Old World since 1750, and no Uppity Women at all since 1899.) The author describes herself as a “historical detective”, so she is not a professional historian. The book is written in a very breezy modern style, which might be mildly offensive to those hoping for traditional history, but the title of the book more or less indicates that this is not traditional history. I was glad to see that some of my favorite women were included (Julian of Norwich, Lady Murasaki, Margery Kemp; Madame Juliette Récamier was not included, which I can understand, but it is well nigh unforgivable that Madame Germaine de Staël was not included), but again, one wishes that women since 1899 could have been mentioned. I very much enjoyed reading this book, and I recommend it to all wishing for an easy read before bedtime.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Britt

    Really it was a 4.5 out of 5, but there were not enough references for a book citing history. She had an extensive bibliography, but no footnotes. It matters because one can't just blurt out your own opinions when it comes to history. No personal theories, please! This book was tragic and hilarious. An easy, enjoyable read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    So this book was overall okay. It divided the stories up into different times, and they were all mostly short. Some longer stories featured multiple women if they were all in the same vein. It was actually an easy read since the stories were maybe 1/2 pg - 1 pg so putting it down, starting & stopping was not an issue (clearly... since I put it down for about 2 months straight). It was definitely interesting, and I learned about a lot of people I had otherwise never heard of. She covered the enti So this book was overall okay. It divided the stories up into different times, and they were all mostly short. Some longer stories featured multiple women if they were all in the same vein. It was actually an easy read since the stories were maybe 1/2 pg - 1 pg so putting it down, starting & stopping was not an issue (clearly... since I put it down for about 2 months straight). It was definitely interesting, and I learned about a lot of people I had otherwise never heard of. She covered the entire world as well, so it didn't feel central to only American / European history. However, there was very... modern language throughout the book. Which, I mean its from 2011, I get that. But while describing actions or life stories from the entire world history... I guess it kind of took me out of the story. I wish she had kept it to the facts. I guess that might be dry for a lot of people, but I found the GRRL POWER AMIRITE and silly quips in stories about Mesopotamia to be too anachronistic. But overall, it was really interesting since 99.5% of women I had never heard - and some of them I totally want to read more about.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Great book with a variety of women who stepped out of their default social roles. Includes women from all continents, though certainly heavier on the European side. Each includes a snippet of their life and other uppity women they may have interacted with or been similar to, along with some historical context. A bit simple, and I wanted more details on all of them, but a great introduction to what women (both lawful and unlawful) have gotten up to in the past. I'd recommend for a younger reader ( Great book with a variety of women who stepped out of their default social roles. Includes women from all continents, though certainly heavier on the European side. Each includes a snippet of their life and other uppity women they may have interacted with or been similar to, along with some historical context. A bit simple, and I wanted more details on all of them, but a great introduction to what women (both lawful and unlawful) have gotten up to in the past. I'd recommend for a younger reader (though some mention of violence or prostitution may push the recommended age range into teens).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Mostek

    I absolutely loved this book. She goes through all of history and tells you the stories of these badass women, both well-known and unknown. The book is split up into 4 sections based on what era in time they lived. Excellent modernization of many words and descriptions so we can understand them today. Told with a bit of sass that had me laughing out loud at times. Would highly recommend this book to anyone!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melynda

    It was an interesting list of women's names but barely any information is given as you are reading through and I don't know about anybody else, but I was reading for information, not a list of names that I should independently research.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Nifty little book of short anecdotes about notable women of the past. It includes the women you've heard of along with some you havent. It's somewhat funny, but sometimes the jokes, nicknames, and jargon go overboard and detract from the stories.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee

    Loved flipping through and picking random pages to read. Lots of really interesting and sometimes hilarious history. Really enjoyed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    It was alright. I'm a big history fan (and have a degree!) but this book, while marginally interesting, just left me feeling blah about the whole thing. Very quick read though.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

    Great stories on some little known women who did big things through the ages.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Stephanis

    It was fine. Entertaining, but loose with the facts

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Great idea, terrible execution. They jammed far too many women into the book so that there's no room to go into detail about any of them. Worse than that, there's several women who don't have ANY reason given as to why they're included in this book. We're just told "this is her name and who she married and where she lived. Eventually her husband died. On to the next name!" I was expecting to like this book a lot but was definitely disappointed. The writing was very plain as well and showed off no Great idea, terrible execution. They jammed far too many women into the book so that there's no room to go into detail about any of them. Worse than that, there's several women who don't have ANY reason given as to why they're included in this book. We're just told "this is her name and who she married and where she lived. Eventually her husband died. On to the next name!" I was expecting to like this book a lot but was definitely disappointed. The writing was very plain as well and showed off no particular talent. Attempts at humor fell flat almost always. The only time I laughed was at one line about a pious, unwed woman who found herself "a wee bit" pregnant. Don't read this book if: you want more than the briefest introduction to these 200 women, you want to see literary skill. Do get this if: you collect (or post bookstagram pics of) feminist books, because the cover/title is pretty neat. Or if you want a list of names for further research.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Casey Clementine

    3 1/2 stars. It was interesting reading about so many cool and interesting women but some of the entries weren't as detailed as they could have been. Definitely a fun read though!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    I was pretty disappointed with this book, which is a shame because I really wanted to like it. It was just way too much in too short a book and no one profile really went as in depth as I wanted. Every time I found myself stumbling on an interesting fact about one of the women in the book, I also found about one sentence describing that fact and then it was on to the next person! I get that this may have been meant to just be an exposure to these great women throughout history, but I felt like t I was pretty disappointed with this book, which is a shame because I really wanted to like it. It was just way too much in too short a book and no one profile really went as in depth as I wanted. Every time I found myself stumbling on an interesting fact about one of the women in the book, I also found about one sentence describing that fact and then it was on to the next person! I get that this may have been meant to just be an exposure to these great women throughout history, but I felt like this is the book you should go to for an idea of who to do further research on. It's not the book you end on for a lot of new knowledge about any one person. Also, as many other reviewers have mentioned, this author's choices in writing style leave a lot to be desired. At times it was very confusing because while a lot of the subject matter may not be wholly appropriate for younger readers, it seemed to be written at a juvenile reading level because of the sheer volume of colloquial expressions and forced attempts at humor that fell flat. I mean the author even gives her subjects "cutesy" nicknames. Really? So unnecessary. There are so many good biographies on great women throughout history that I would say start with this book if you want, but be prepared to go searching beyond this book for more information if you are interested in any of the women.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    4,000 Years was a gift from the same aunt who sent me Eudora Welty’s Curtain of Green, so I was excited to start reading a book with so much feminism! As I started reading, it was obviously written for a younger audience, but that was fine. I can handle younger-audience books, and this might be something I can recommend to younger readers. Now, I’m trained as a fact checker, and after a little while of that you start to read things differently… and you start questioning everything you read. It al 4,000 Years was a gift from the same aunt who sent me Eudora Welty’s Curtain of Green, so I was excited to start reading a book with so much feminism! As I started reading, it was obviously written for a younger audience, but that was fine. I can handle younger-audience books, and this might be something I can recommend to younger readers. Now, I’m trained as a fact checker, and after a little while of that you start to read things differently… and you start questioning everything you read. It also gives you passing familiarity with a lot of really strange things—in my case, more than a passing familiarity with Mesopotamia/Sumer/Babylon/Akkad. I’m not an ancient Mesopotamian scholar by any means, but I know enough to be suspicious with some of the sweeping generalizations presented by León. Full review here.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a fun collection of snippets covering four millennia. It's strength is certainly not in depth of coverage for the individual but it's breadth of personalities. This is the perfect introductory antidote for anyone who thinks history is just a bunch of dates about things done by dead white guys. Here we find examples of successful and pioneering women in business, medicine, military, literature, art, science, technology, and more. The brief biological sketches are written in an engaging and This is a fun collection of snippets covering four millennia. It's strength is certainly not in depth of coverage for the individual but it's breadth of personalities. This is the perfect introductory antidote for anyone who thinks history is just a bunch of dates about things done by dead white guys. Here we find examples of successful and pioneering women in business, medicine, military, literature, art, science, technology, and more. The brief biological sketches are written in an engaging and often cheeky style which whets the readers appetite for more information. A good bibliography is also provided to aid further study.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie Tatton

    4000 Years of Uppity Women gives brief reviews of women who were unwilling to behave as society would have them, instead becoming the movers and shakers of their respective time. We are given bite sized histories of Joan of Arc and Cleopatra, as well as heretofore unknown women (at least to most of us) who stepped up in times of crisis and took over everything from businesses to wars. The prose in this book is witty and rollicking, but the meat of the stories is often left just out of reach. I'd 4000 Years of Uppity Women gives brief reviews of women who were unwilling to behave as society would have them, instead becoming the movers and shakers of their respective time. We are given bite sized histories of Joan of Arc and Cleopatra, as well as heretofore unknown women (at least to most of us) who stepped up in times of crisis and took over everything from businesses to wars. The prose in this book is witty and rollicking, but the meat of the stories is often left just out of reach. I'd have preferred less cheek (and I like cheek!) and more depth and insight to the women who helped shape their world.

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