Cover image for Notable women in American history : a guide to recommended biographies and autobiographies
Notable women in American history : a guide to recommended biographies and autobiographies
Adamson, Lynda G.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 450 pages ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1150 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CT3260 .A33 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This unique guide will enable students, librarians, teachers, and general readers to easily identify the best biographies and autobiographies of 500 of the most notable women in American history. Spanning from colonial America through 1998, the guide features entries on historical and contemporary women who have achieved recognition in more than 100 fields of endeavor. It annotates approximately 1350 recommended books published since 1970 about these women. The compilation of works selected here is unavailable in any other reference.

Adamson, author of the acclaimed companion volume "Notable Women in World History: A Guide to Recommended Biographies and Autobiographies," provides the most up-to-date information on each woman's life, biographies, and autobiographies. Each entry contains a brief biographical sketch of the woman and an annotated list of up to five recommended biographies, autobiographies, letter collections, or journals concerning her life. Three appendixes listing the women according to year of birth, occupation, and ethnicity will help researchers easily locate women from specific time periods, professions, or ethnic backgrounds.

Author Notes

LYNDA G. ADAMSON is Professor of Literature and Chair of the English Department at Prince George's Community College in Maryland. She is also author of Notable Women in World History (Greenwood, 1997), Recreating the Past (Greenwood, 1994), A Reference Guide to Historical Fiction for Children and Young Adults (Greenwood, 1987), Literature Connections to American History, K-6 (1998), Literature Connections to World History, 7-12 (1998), Literature Connections to World History, K-6 (1998), American Historical Fiction: An Annotated Guide to Novels for Adults and Young Adults (1999), and World Historical Fiction: An Annotated Guide for Adults and Young Adults (1999).

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This companion work to Notable Women in World History [RBB My 1 98] follows the same format but concentrates on women who made contributions to U.S. history from the colonial period through 1998. The 500 women covered were born in America or became naturalized citizens; had a full-length biography or autobiography published since 1970; and, in the case of twentieth-century actors, authors, and poets, have been recognized by their peers. An additional criteria was added to cover women who made their contributions in a specialized field such as medicine or science even though recent biographies are not available. Entries are arranged in alphabetical order with cross-references to alternative forms. For example, Shirley Temple Black is located under Temple with a cross-reference from Black. Each biographical entry has a paragraph providing birth and death dates, place of birth, names of parents, education, profession, accomplishments, and recognition. Cross-references to other individuals included in this work are listed in bold type. Women from Pocahontas to Madonna are covered. The volume is especially strong in coverage of African American women, represented by 90 biographies. Each entry ends with an annotated bibliography of books for adults and young adults about the individual covered. The annotation is a sentence long and indicates if the biography is fiction or nonfiction, researched or anecdotal, and appropriate for adults or young adults. Three appendixes follow the work. "Appendix A: Notable Women by Year of Birth" begins with Pocahontas and ends with Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee. Next is "Appendix B: Notable Women by Title, Occupation, or Main Area of Interest." Some women are listed in more than one area; for example, Lucille Ball appears under both actor and businesswoman. Finally, "Appendix C: Notable Women by Ethnicity" identifies African Americans, Asian Americans, Latina Americans, and Native Americans. The index rounds out the work. One improvement over the companion work is that the main entries are indicated by page numbers in bold type. This is helpful when looking for someone like Susan Brownwell Anthony, who is mentioned on 12 different pages. The cross-references are continued in the index so that the user will know that the entry for Jacqueline Kennedy is listed under Onassis. Like the companion volume, this work deserves a place on the shelves even with the large number of biographical sources that are now available on women. It would be useful in collection development and for answering biographical queries and is an important acquisition for high-school, public, and academic libraries.

Choice Review

Following her biobibliography Notable Women in World History (CH, Jul'98), Adamson now focuses on US women. Women included in this compilation (500 entries) must be US citizens, have enriched life for other Americans in some way, and have had a full-length biography or autobiography published since 1970. For contemporary actors, authors, and poets, an additional criterion requires that they must have won major recognition from their colleagues. In the selection process Adamson purposefully favored scholarly and scientific contributors over celebrities. Each entry features a brief biographical sketch listing overall achievement, date and place of birth, parental heritage, education, occupation, or other noteworthy areas of interest. An annotated bibliography of up to five primary or secondary sources follows each sketch. Three appendixes list the women by year of birth, by ethnicity, and by occupation or area of interest (author being the largest category, followed by reformer; some women are in more than one category). Recommended for academic reference collections and larger public libraries. A. E. Bonnette; University of Southwestern Louisiana

Table of Contents

The Guide
Appendix A Notable Women by Date of Birth
Appendix B Notable Women by Title, Occupation, or Main Area of Interest
Appendix C Notable Women by Ethnicity