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Wild Women of Boston: Mettle and Moxie in…

Wild Women of Boston: Mettle and Moxie in the Hub (American Heritage)

by Dina Vargo

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This slender volume is chock full of stories of about two dozen women of Boston who bucked the societal norms of their sex and made an impact of history. These women include leaders, innovators, and activists, but they also include witches, madams, and murderers. Examples of the former include Revolutionary political writer Mercy Otis warren, art collector Isabel Stewart Gardner, celebrity chef Julia Child, and groundbreaking marathon runner Kathrine Switzer. One of my favorite chapters is called Biker Babes and tells the story of women who biked their way into history in the late 19th-century bike craze, including Kittie Knox whose cycling skill had to break through segregation in addition to other barriers. Some of the other stories are more sordid, but all are well-researched and entertaining and arranged chronologically from colonial times to the present day. The author is a colleague of mine from Boston By Foot, so I may be biased, but I think I'd recommend this collection of important Boston women regardless. ( )
  Othemts | Jan 19, 2016 |
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The sons of liberty are celebrated in the rebellious history of Boston-but what of their sisters? An audacious and determined procession of reformers, socialites, criminals and madams made the city what it is today. One hundred years before Rosa Parks, African American abolitionist Sarah Parker Remond refused to give up her seat while attending a play in Boston. Fiery activists Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall led a boycott against bird plumage in ladies' dress and brought the fashion industry to its knees. Rachel Wall was the last woman to be hanged in Massachusetts after leading a daring life as a robber and pirate. Later, women like Boston Marathon runner Kathrine Switzer also blazed their own trails. Author Dina Vargo unearths the remarkable stories of the wild women of the Hub.… (more)

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