Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cool Women

1998, possibly first edition, from Girl Press
Edited by Pam Nelson
Written by Dawn Chipman, Mari Florence, Naomi Wax
Designed by Amy Inouye
Cool Women: The Thinking Girl's Guide to the Hippest Women in History
Original/purchase price unknown
Worn paperback

This goes in alphabetical order, from Amazons to Wu Zhao.  And, yes, some profiles are of groups, others of individuals, from many times and places, as well as different claims to fame.  So it gets points for multi-culturalism, but I found the format annoying.  There are two-page spreads for each person/group, even when there's not much to say, or when there's too much to say.  (Funny to see Cleopatra reduced to that after Margaret George's novel.)  Also, the colors are often garish, and the text is hard to read against some backgrounds.

The audience seems to be junior-high girls, since the obvious is pointed out at times, as in "That's right-- not so long ago women weren't considered human enough to qualify as full citizens.  Pretty incredible, huh?"  On the other hand, it can't be aimed at an elementary-school crowd because of figures like Margaret Sanger.  You won't necessarily agree with their definition of "hip" or "cool"-- Evita? Queen Isabella?-- and the links are probably hopelessly dated by now, but I guess it might work as an introduction to what was then being called "girl power."

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