This is the follow up to Chelsea Clinton’s more parochial (or is it imperial?) roster of women determined to make their mark, She Persisted: Thirteen American Women Who Changed the World. Addressed specifically to young girls, this picture book features a fully illustrated double page spread for each woman. There is a short paragraph about their achievements and an apposite quote from them. In each biographical section the mantra ‘she persisted’ is highlighted, so that even the child whose mind might wander will not fail to get the message. There is a good selection of past and present high achieving women from a variety of countries and fields of endeavour, some of whom may well be unfamiliar. It’s a handsomely produced book which will help to satisfy the current hunger for female iconography. I do have some misgivings about it. Not about highlighting the achievements and contribution of women (he adds quickly) but about the way in which it comes across here as implicitly tied to the notion of individual success as being the most important goal in life. Many of these women were driven by other motives: a thirst for knowledge, a need for self-expression, or a sense of justice, for instance. Some were part of wider movements for change. Success, measured sometimes in Nobel prizes, was not the main motivation. True, you can gather some of this even from these short accounts of their lives. But it is coated with the gloss of celebrity. Final semantic quibble: you can say they changed the world; you can say they made history; but, as there are no famous women historians (or time travellers) in the book, none of them, in any sense, ‘changed history’.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Ellie http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Ellie2018-05-01 17:34:042021-04-10 10:31:25She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History
Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger