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Encyclopedia of Women in the American West

Encyclopedia of Women in the American West

Edited by:

June 2003 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

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"This is a sound purchase for college and university libraries with women's studies or American West programs as well as for large public libraries."

"This is the first encyclopedia to focus on this neglected group. . . . There is a clear need for this encyclopedia . . . recommended for academic and public libraries and all libraries with a special interest in the western region and women's studies."

"A highly educational and enlightening resource, the Encyclopedia of Women in the American West is a core recommendation for academic and public library American Western History Studies and Women's Studies reference collections, as well as an invaluable resource for writers and non-specialist general readers with an interest in studying women's experiences and contributions to American society and culture."

Unites the American West and Women's History

American women have followed their "manifest destiny" since the 1800's, moving West to homestead, found businesses, author novels and write poetry, practice medicine and law, preach and perform missionary work, become educators, artists, judges, civil rights activists, and many other important roles spurred on by their strength, spirit, and determination.

Encyclopedia of Women of the American West captures the lives of more than 150 women who made their mark from the mid-1800s to the present, contextualizing their experiences and contributions to American society.

Including many women profiled for the first time, the encyclopedia offers immense value and interest to practicing historians as well as students and the lay public.

Multidisciplinary and Multicultural

Cowgirls, ranchers, authors, poets, artists, judges, doctors, educators, and reformers--although these women took many different paths, they are united in their role in history, fighting not only for women's rights, but equal rights for all in this rich and promised land.

The Encyclopedia of Women in the American West chronicles the work of Native American activists such as Mildred Imach Cleghorn, and Sarah Winnemucca, the champion of rights of indigenous peoples who established Nevada's first school for Native Americans in 1884.

The encyclopedia also explores the stories of early ranchers. Among them is Freda Ehmann, who founded the California Ripe Olive Association where, according to her grandson, "science and chemical exactness failed, the experience and care of a skillful and conscientious housewife succeeded."

Women in the American West have long thrived in the arts. This is evidenced by the work of authors such as Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather, Amy Tan, and Linda Hasselstrom, poets such as Hildegarde Flanner, and journalist Molly Ivins. All are profiled in this comprehensive work.

The arts are used to address both aesthetic and serious societal issues such as Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, the story of a woman's struggle with identity as a minority in American culture. Academics will appreciate a study of Ruth Underhill's Autobiography of a Papago Woman, which deals with the role of feminist ideology in changing the discipline of anthropology during the first part of the twentieth century.

Women in the American West have also achieved many "firsts" such as Utah's Ivy Baker Priest, the first woman to hold the office of Treasurer of the United States, and Georgia Bullock, the first woman judge in the State of California.

The Many Roles of Women in the American West

The Encyclopedia of Women in the American West covers nine diverse topical categories:

  • Agriculture/Ranching
  • Arts and Letters
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Law
  • Pioneers
  • Public Performance
  • Religion
  • Women's organizations

The West is often portrayed as a rough and tumble man's world, but behind these men--and often independently--were women with the dreams, strength, and determination to make a difference. The Encyclopedia of Women in the American West is a tribute to their independence, intelligence, courage, spirit, perseverance, and daring.

Key Features

  • Authoritative and in-depth articles on a wide range of salient issues in women's history
  • Suggested readings and interpretive materials for every entry
  • Bridges two perennially popular areas of academic and lay interest: the American West and women's history
  • Developed and priced to appeal to high school and public libraries as well as academic libraries

Recommended Libraries

Public, school, academic, special, and private/corporate

List of Entries
Reader's Guide
List of Contributors
Danielle Moon
A-Z Entries
Appendix: The Chronology of America and its Women
Appendix: Women's Organizations
Appendix: Researching Women's History
Key features
  • The encyclopedia contains authoritative articles on a range of topics, and thematic essays providing and in-depth treatment of salient issues in women's history.
  • Each entry will contain the most recent interpretive materials and have a listing of suggesting readings.
  • This encyclopedia will include disciplinary entries involving anthropology, history, political science, law, and medicine. In all cases, the materials will be offered at the level of the general reader, but specific references to these disciplines will be made in the entry.
  • Biographies here of many historical Western women who have never been written up before. The encyclopedia will therefore be of immense value and interest to practicing historians and the lay public and students.
  • This reference book bridges two perennially popular areas of academic and lay interest: the American West and women's history.
  • Priced and developed to appeal to high school and public libraries, as well as academic libraries.



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ISBN: 9780761923565

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