Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History Cover

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400075270, 284pp.

Publication Date: September 23, 2008


From admired historian--and coiner of one of feminism's most popular slogans--Laurel Thatcher Ulrich comes an exploration of what it means for women to make history.
In 1976, in an obscure scholarly article, Ulrich wrote, "Well behaved women seldom make history." Today these words appear on t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, and all sorts of Web sites and blogs. Ulrich explains how that happened and what it means by looking back at women of the past who challenged the way history was written. She ranges from the fifteenth-century writer Christine de Pizan, who wrote "The Book of the City of Ladies, " to the twentieth century's Virginia Woolf, author of "A Room of One's Own. "Ulrich updates their attempts to reimagine female possibilities and looks at the women who didn't try to make history but did. And she concludes by showing how the 1970s activists who created "second-wave feminism" also created a renaissance in the study of history.

About the Author
Beverly Wilson Palmer is former coordinator of the Writing Program at Pomona College and a seasoned documentary editor. Among her works is the two-volume The Selected Letters of Charles Sumner, also published by Northeastern University Press. She lives in Claremont, California. Laurel THatcher Ulrich, editor of the New England Women's Diaries Series, is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of History and Director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University.

Praise For Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

"A bravura performance. . . . Ulrich is brilliant here. . . . Few have done as much to so profoundly enrich and enlarge our vision of the past."

The Boston Globe


"The book is a pleasure to read. . . . Ulrich's style is plain and direct."

The Washington Post Book World


"Ulrich writes with deep insight and humor about subjects that touch our daily lives."

The Washington Times