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Publisher's Summary

America's Women tells the story of more than four centuries of history. It features a stunning array of personalities, from the women peering worriedly over the side of the Mayflower to feminists having a grand old time protesting beauty pageants and bridal fairs. Courageous, silly, funny, and heartbreaking, these women shaped the nation and our vision of what it means to be female in America.

Told chronologically through the compelling stories of individual lives that, linked together, provide a complete picture of the American woman's experience, America's Women is both a great read and a landmark work of history.

©2003 Gail Collins; (P)2003 HarperCollinsPublishers

Critic Reviews

"Collins...not only expertly chronicles what women have done since arriving in the New World, but how they did it and why. Creating a compelling social history...Collins's work is a fully accessible, and thoroughly enjoyable, primer of how American women have not only survived but thrived." (Publishers Weekly)
"In a vibrant history...as vast and varied as the nation itself, Collins elegantly and eruditely celebrates...a captivating array of influential women." (Booklist)
"Jane Alexander reads this all-encompassing history of American women with just the right amount of humor, indignation, wonder, and disbelief....Alexander is a good match for Collins's style, lending an even pace, great warmth, and a slightly scholarly voice to the history." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Not all there

Any additional comments?

I bought this book to go along with the print version that I have for a Women’s History class that I was taking but it is only about half the book. All most every chapter is missing at least half the content compared to the print version. I would not recommend this just buy the printed one you miss to many stories.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pamela
  • Sonoma, CA, United States
  • 04-18-04

Slow going but interesting

The subject matter is interesting to me, but I found it slow to hook the reader. I am learning a tremendous amount and enjoy it each time I listen, but I am not longing for the opportunity to keep my headphones in an extra 10 minutes as I am with some of my other choices. So much of this early history of women in America is relevant and I wish more of it would have made it into the history books I read as a teenager. I am sticking with this book because I think it is worth it.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Gives me perspective

Any additional comments?

I've been listening to a lot of books on relationships and marriage. But I had apparently been looking for something, (without knowing that I was) and wasn't finding it the relationship books. But I found it in the feminist books. And that is perspective. Why our relationships have so many dysfunctions. Why are women so often co-dependent. Why are there so many unrealistic expectations placed on women in relationships. None of these questions were answered by marriage and relationship books, within a broader historical context, even though many of those books were useful in their own ways and filled with good info and good advice, regarding how to simply make it work, despite the difference. But I need a lot more than that. I need to know why is it like that. Then there are questions of women in society. Why do women not value their work as much as men do. Why do we put up with so much abuse and discrimination, still. And why do we get paid less for the same work then men. Only feminist books, so far, have answered these questions with a level of clarity and intelligence that I need to satisfy my genuine need to know the truth.This book paints a retrospect of many pictures and short stories about women's lives in the US, since the first European woman arrived on the mayflower. (The book doesn't talk about the prehistory in the Americas, though mentions the Native American women a little bit.) I found the book very interesting, and easy to read. It adds to the overall pool of information I'm collecting about women's genuine experiences, and personal histories.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicole
  • SAVANNAH, GA, United States
  • 01-04-13

NOT COMPLETE READING.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The complete UNABRIDGED version.

What was most disappointing about Gail Collins’s story?

There is nothing disapointing; the book itself is very long, and the left out basically all of it in the audio version!

Any additional comments?

I am currently taking AP-US history. I have been reading chapters from this book that go along with the lessons I am learning in class. It is very helpful. HOWEVER, this audio version is not complete at all, and i was dissapointed that I had bought something that I had already read. It includes the first 6 chapters, not the rest. DISAPOINTING. I will not be using this website again.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Great Listen

This book should be required reading in HS - maybe earlier. Thoroughly researched stories, well written and well narrated - golden nuggets of history.
A good companion book to Cokie Roberts' "Ladies of Liberty" and "Founding Mothers

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Leslie
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 04-21-09

fascinating

A wonderful, fun-to-read overview of women in American history. One of the best books I've listened to and I've listened to a lot. It helped me to choose other women's lives I'd like to read more about. The sad thing is there often aren't the books (at least on audible) which will give me an indepth look at Katie Stanton, Alice Paul or Eleanor Roosevelt--only children's books for these women's lives. I don't know if the books aren't out there or if I just can't find them here. But I digress, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and enjoyed the reader's voice very much.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Should be required reading.

What did you love best about America's Women?

Very human and when information was not available, gaps were not filled in with what the author believed might have happened. She simply says that there is no information on certain people or topics.

What did you like best about this story?

I'm just so grateful that women documented their lives so that we could get an accurate account of our history.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I didn't like the voice in the beginning; she bored me. I got used to the narration because the stories are compelling. I guess the voice worked for the context of the book, but it was not as lively as I would have read it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I'm just proud to be a woman. I had preconceived ideas about women from books I had read before, and this book gave me insight into their point of view that made so much sense.

Any additional comments?

Again, I wish it were required reading for everyone in history or civics classes. History should be taught through what they were, stories! We learn history by memorizing facts and data instead of the story of the people with their feelings about what was happening. When history is personal it is easy to learn. When it is presented as lists and information to memorize, history is boring. I remember when my 9th grade history teacher said, when you go to college, you get to learn the real stories. He was right, and I never understood why we could not have history taught in the exciting what that events happen.

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Loved it

Interesting, funny, and insightful. I just wish it wasn't abridged. I will likely buy the print copy to use as reference.

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This is an abridged version

This book is required reading for a history class I'm taking. I didn't realize until after buying this that it's an abridged version. It isn't clear about that. The narration and the book themselves are good but this audiobook is incomplete (guessing at least 1/2). If that matters to you I would not get this. Fortunately for me Audible let me return this title and choose another.

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Not Complete

This audiobook skips over sections/chapters of the book and is not complete. Not worth the listen in my case.