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Forgotten Women: The Leaders

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'For most of history, anonymous was a woman.' Virginia Woolf Everyone knows a forgotten woman. The ones we hold close to our hearts, the rebels we raise in conversation over a drink, the pioneering early feminists who have been overlooked for too long. Forgotten Women redresses the balance. Forgotten Women: The Leaders weaves together 48 (the number of Nobel-prize-winning wo 'For most of history, anonymous was a woman.' Virginia Woolf Everyone knows a forgotten woman. The ones we hold close to our hearts, the rebels we raise in conversation over a drink, the pioneering early feminists who have been overlooked for too long. Forgotten Women redresses the balance. Forgotten Women: The Leaders weaves together 48 (the number of Nobel-prize-winning women) unforgettable portraits of women who made huge yet unacknowledged contributions to history, the true pioneers and leaders who deserve to have had history books written about them, such as Grace O'Malley, the 16th century Irish pirate queen; Sylvia Rivera, who spearheaded the modern transgender movement; or Agent 355, the rebel spy who played a vital role in the American Revolution. With evocative illustrations from the first open international directory of female professional illustrators, womenwhodraw.com, and in collaboration with the New Historia, an academic initiative designed to document and promote the achievements of women in history, Broadly editor-in-chief Zing Tsjeng brings together the stories of the most remarkable female leaders from across the ages.


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'For most of history, anonymous was a woman.' Virginia Woolf Everyone knows a forgotten woman. The ones we hold close to our hearts, the rebels we raise in conversation over a drink, the pioneering early feminists who have been overlooked for too long. Forgotten Women redresses the balance. Forgotten Women: The Leaders weaves together 48 (the number of Nobel-prize-winning wo 'For most of history, anonymous was a woman.' Virginia Woolf Everyone knows a forgotten woman. The ones we hold close to our hearts, the rebels we raise in conversation over a drink, the pioneering early feminists who have been overlooked for too long. Forgotten Women redresses the balance. Forgotten Women: The Leaders weaves together 48 (the number of Nobel-prize-winning women) unforgettable portraits of women who made huge yet unacknowledged contributions to history, the true pioneers and leaders who deserve to have had history books written about them, such as Grace O'Malley, the 16th century Irish pirate queen; Sylvia Rivera, who spearheaded the modern transgender movement; or Agent 355, the rebel spy who played a vital role in the American Revolution. With evocative illustrations from the first open international directory of female professional illustrators, womenwhodraw.com, and in collaboration with the New Historia, an academic initiative designed to document and promote the achievements of women in history, Broadly editor-in-chief Zing Tsjeng brings together the stories of the most remarkable female leaders from across the ages.

30 review for Forgotten Women: The Leaders

  1. 5 out of 5

    ~Bookishly

    I enjoyed this book, but not as much as other feminist related books that I've previously read. This book is all about women that have had a significant part to play in history, but may not be well known. There are different sections such as rebels, rulers, warriors, activists and reformers. I didn't enjoy the way the women were all put in different sections, it became rather samey and tiresome. I think the structure could certainly have been better thought out. The description of each woman and I enjoyed this book, but not as much as other feminist related books that I've previously read. This book is all about women that have had a significant part to play in history, but may not be well known. There are different sections such as rebels, rulers, warriors, activists and reformers. I didn't enjoy the way the women were all put in different sections, it became rather samey and tiresome. I think the structure could certainly have been better thought out. The description of each woman and her background, is also very brief, although, there are some pleasant illustrations included. This is a book that contains information about strong, fierce women, who fought and did what they believed was right, and for that, it's an empowering read. I just thought it could have been better.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lumsden

    Another great read. It was fascinating to read about 48 lesser known female reformers, activists, rulers, rebels and warriors from throughout history and all over the world.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda Sfetsos

    This is another book that caught my eye while checking out one of the many cool Hachette Australia catalogues I'm lucky enough to read. :) Firstly, I want to mention how beautiful this book is. It's hardback and the cover is absolutely stunning. The pages inside are just as lovely. All the awesome (and some not-so awesome) ladies mentioned in this book are accompanied with beautiful artwork and different font sizes to highlight different facts. Plus the colours are bright and pretty! The actual in This is another book that caught my eye while checking out one of the many cool Hachette Australia catalogues I'm lucky enough to read. :) Firstly, I want to mention how beautiful this book is. It's hardback and the cover is absolutely stunning. The pages inside are just as lovely. All the awesome (and some not-so awesome) ladies mentioned in this book are accompanied with beautiful artwork and different font sizes to highlight different facts. Plus the colours are bright and pretty! The actual information is fascinating. There are so many strong and intelligent women from all the ages mentioned within, and every single one has their own interesting story to tell. Stories of leadership, sheer strength and determination, as well as pioneers so often kept out of the history books. Oh gosh. I don't want to get started on how much this angers me. For so many years, history has pretended women didn't exist, so it's about time these stories got out and everyone can start reading about them. Forgotten Women: The Leaders is another excellent book to add to my feminist book collection. It's also a book that I'll refer to many more times, and will no doubt inspire me for years to come. So grab yourself a copy!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Justyna

    A disappointment, unfortunately. The stories may be interesting and the idea of presenting them is nice, but each is treated very superficially and there's no way you can actually find any in-depth info about the women described. It could easily just be a list of names with one sentence of description next to them and it would have the exactly same effect - if you want to know anything of substance about them, look them up in actual history/biographical books or on the internet. You won't find m A disappointment, unfortunately. The stories may be interesting and the idea of presenting them is nice, but each is treated very superficially and there's no way you can actually find any in-depth info about the women described. It could easily just be a list of names with one sentence of description next to them and it would have the exactly same effect - if you want to know anything of substance about them, look them up in actual history/biographical books or on the internet. You won't find much here. I was at least hoping the illustrations will make up for the lack of info, but the decision to involve so many different illustrators was a disaster in my opinion. Each drawing is completely different in style and not in a good way, sadly. I'm happy I bought it for a discounted price, otherwise it would be a total waste of money.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jaclynn

    I bought this as an additional to my classroom library and I would love to give it 4 stars (the illustrations are gorgeous!) but I am dropping one star from my review because of the decision to include a man in a book about forgotten women. There is absolutely no reason to include Ray Rivera in a book showcasing women's history. Too often, extraordinary women have been lost by time. Their stories were never added to history books and those that lived with them have long since passed. Rather than I bought this as an additional to my classroom library and I would love to give it 4 stars (the illustrations are gorgeous!) but I am dropping one star from my review because of the decision to include a man in a book about forgotten women. There is absolutely no reason to include Ray Rivera in a book showcasing women's history. Too often, extraordinary women have been lost by time. Their stories were never added to history books and those that lived with them have long since passed. Rather than including a male-bodied individual they could have featured another woman overlooked by the history books. How very disappointing that a man once again takes the place of a woman. Ironic, given the book's theme.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paya

    Bardzo ładnie wydana, ciekawa książka. Przedstawia profile zapomnianych, wyjątkowych kobiet, i to nie tylko z Europy/Ameryki - to naprawdę intersekcjonalny, przekrojowy wybór niesamowitych postaci kobiecych od starożytności do czasów współczesnych. Duży plus za przepięknie zilustrowane bohaterki, minus za błędy w datach :)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jen Burrows

    I've read a few of these feminist non-fiction books, shedding light on little-known pioneering women from history, but they have mostly been aimed at middle-grade or YA readers. It's great to see a similar book aimed at an adult audience, with more historical and political depth. Featuring 48 kickass women from around the world, each short section contains some really interesting historical background and detail, so you don't just learn what these women did, but why their achievements were so ou I've read a few of these feminist non-fiction books, shedding light on little-known pioneering women from history, but they have mostly been aimed at middle-grade or YA readers. It's great to see a similar book aimed at an adult audience, with more historical and political depth. Featuring 48 kickass women from around the world, each short section contains some really interesting historical background and detail, so you don't just learn what these women did, but why their achievements were so outstanding in their time. Inspiring and informative, Forgotten Women: The Leaders is an important feminist read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This collection tells the stories of 48 strong women who broke free of the boundaries of their societies and changed history not just for their own gain but for that of their families, friends and their sex as a whole. Each portrait may only be a few pages long but the actions and exploits of these women speak for themselves as Tsjeng writes simply and cleanly, showing the good and the bad, allowing the reader to make up their own mind about each of these incredible people. Each one is also supp This collection tells the stories of 48 strong women who broke free of the boundaries of their societies and changed history not just for their own gain but for that of their families, friends and their sex as a whole. Each portrait may only be a few pages long but the actions and exploits of these women speak for themselves as Tsjeng writes simply and cleanly, showing the good and the bad, allowing the reader to make up their own mind about each of these incredible people. Each one is also supported by beautiful illustrations that capture the essence of each woman and the time and place of her achievements. My only issue is the use of the different sized text within each portrait, I don't think it added anything and I found it a little distracting. This really is a book that everyone needs to read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kym Hamer

    Quite interesting reading but I did think that the last chapter was too US focused and could have provided a more worldly view of "The Reformers". An okay 3-stars.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica M

    http://jessjustreads.com Forgotten Women by Zing Tsjeng is a really wonderful new series, allowing readers to discover 96 women who I can guarantee you’ve never heard of before. Each of these books features 48 incredible women of history, styled with beautiful artwork and colourful layouts. The Leaders is all about women who were true pioneers. They may not have lived long, or they may have been overlooked, but their contributions were important. Grace O’Malley was a 16th century Irish pirate quee http://jessjustreads.com Forgotten Women by Zing Tsjeng is a really wonderful new series, allowing readers to discover 96 women who I can guarantee you’ve never heard of before. Each of these books features 48 incredible women of history, styled with beautiful artwork and colourful layouts. The Leaders is all about women who were true pioneers. They may not have lived long, or they may have been overlooked, but their contributions were important. Grace O’Malley was a 16th century Irish pirate queen, Sylvia Rivera spearheaded the modern transgender rights movement, and Agent 355 was an unknown rebel spy who played a pivotal role in the American Revolution. The series is both informative and interesting. I thought I would’ve gotten sick of these types of books, but I’ve found myself just as enthralled and intrigued as ever. In The Leaders, chapters are broken down into different categories, from rebels to warriors, rulers to activists. In The Scientists, the chapters range from Biology & Natural Sciences to Physics & Chemistry. Each woman is given around three pages of information, so the books are pretty quick to read and the information not too heavy. In The Scientists, we meet women whose scientific achievements or whose inventions have paved the way for the future, but unfortunately their successes weren’t as acknowledged or praised as highly or as often as they should’ve been. Ruby Hirose developed a vaccine for polio, Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner was a brilliant inventor who found ways to improve everyday struggles, and Ynes Mexia was a botanist who discovered 500 new plant species. Both of these books are packaged beautifully. They’re hardback, with thick, high quality paper and bright colours. They look wonderful together on the shelf, and I hope the series will have more books coming out. I’m sure there are plenty more women out there whose achievements have been sadly forgotten. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of both books in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    This book is one that needs to be on every shelf. It has certainly earnt it from me. Pride of place for sure. We are shown brief but very detailed accounts from brave and fiercely strong women all of which are inspirational to all women including myself. It is a fantastically interesting collection of women ranging from activitists to reformers and even rulers across time. This a deeply educational book and one I feel that should be made more available and given a lot more hype, I can even go as This book is one that needs to be on every shelf. It has certainly earnt it from me. Pride of place for sure. We are shown brief but very detailed accounts from brave and fiercely strong women all of which are inspirational to all women including myself. It is a fantastically interesting collection of women ranging from activitists to reformers and even rulers across time. This a deeply educational book and one I feel that should be made more available and given a lot more hype, I can even go as far to saying that it should be in all schools for people to learn about and read freely. Zing Tsjeng is deeply passionate about her work which I love and she's researched it very nicely. I wished that there was more for me to read because I enjoyed it so so much. I am going to seek out more of these books, for the pure pleasure of reading them, I felt pretty impressed as a woman myself, though I'm not sure I fit into any of the above categories still its something to aspire to. Many thanks to NetGalley, who provided me with an free copy in exchange for a honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    A part of a series of books about women who should never be forgotten, Forgotten Women: The Leaders is a fantastic collection of women throughout history from all over the world that need to be remembered. Given to us here in a few pages with illustrations this book really inspires you to know more. Made up of different sections that include Rebels; Warriors; Rulers; Activists and Reformers, this book covers a dimension of different women including Agent 355 to Sylvia Rivera, giving you a real i A part of a series of books about women who should never be forgotten, Forgotten Women: The Leaders is a fantastic collection of women throughout history from all over the world that need to be remembered. Given to us here in a few pages with illustrations this book really inspires you to know more. Made up of different sections that include Rebels; Warriors; Rulers; Activists and Reformers, this book covers a dimension of different women including Agent 355 to Sylvia Rivera, giving you a real intersectional view of women who have made change in the world and does it incredibly well. Easily read particularly for young people, Tsjeng writes about these with passion and it shows in her writing. With these women’s short biographies are some excellent illustrations of the women that really capture the story Tsjeng tells about them and they make for a treat to the eyes throughout. A great book to discover some incredible women with. (I received an ARC from Netgalley for a honest review)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    So, I got this book for my daughter - she's a great age to learn about these women, and in middle school, essays become more of a thing. However, when I sat down to peruse it, an interesting thing happened - I got so wrapped up in the stories of the women within that I ended up reading it from cover to cover over the course of a couple of days. Most of the women in the book I had never heard of, and often there was an explanation for that. The stories are short - typically only 2-3 pages long. T So, I got this book for my daughter - she's a great age to learn about these women, and in middle school, essays become more of a thing. However, when I sat down to peruse it, an interesting thing happened - I got so wrapped up in the stories of the women within that I ended up reading it from cover to cover over the course of a couple of days. Most of the women in the book I had never heard of, and often there was an explanation for that. The stories are short - typically only 2-3 pages long. They are interesting, and the artwork that accompanies them is wonderful. Having read this one, I will need to get copies of the other versions as they come out, and I hope that my daughter will find them even half as interesting as I have!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Snorki

    I have also read the scientists version of the Forgotten Women series, which to be honest I preferred (maybe that’s because I’m a scientist!). It seemed that there were not as many interesting examples in this book about leaders, and not much information about those who did feature. Many were from centuries ago, whose existence may be disputed, and about whom very little is known. It didn’t provide the same level of empowerment as the scientist one, which had very real stories of female scientis I have also read the scientists version of the Forgotten Women series, which to be honest I preferred (maybe that’s because I’m a scientist!). It seemed that there were not as many interesting examples in this book about leaders, and not much information about those who did feature. Many were from centuries ago, whose existence may be disputed, and about whom very little is known. It didn’t provide the same level of empowerment as the scientist one, which had very real stories of female scientists achieving a great deal in challenging circumstances. Perhaps more modern leaders were avoided due to controversy, but it left me a bit disappointed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lianne

    Not bad, but compared to all the other books of this kind that I have read this year, a bit boring and less inspirational than the others. I'm not a big fan of the catagorizing in groups, because reading story after story about warriors with difficult names made all stories sound the same to me and I can not remember any of those stories or women individually. Also the non-chonological order even within the categories made it very difficult for me to place the stories in historical context. I lov Not bad, but compared to all the other books of this kind that I have read this year, a bit boring and less inspirational than the others. I'm not a big fan of the catagorizing in groups, because reading story after story about warriors with difficult names made all stories sound the same to me and I can not remember any of those stories or women individually. Also the non-chonological order even within the categories made it very difficult for me to place the stories in historical context. I love the concept of the book, but am not impressed with the execution of it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Leabeater

    Empowering. Fascinating. These are the stories I wish I’d heard at school. Fearless women, resilient and bold. This book does a good job at getting these women’s names and stories on people’s lips and on their mind. I’m eager to check out the others in the Forgotten Women series. It is a true injustice to these women’s lives and the things they have had to overcome, that they are ‘forgotten’. Give me more books like these that aren’t just about boring white men. Thank you to NetGalley for a copy Empowering. Fascinating. These are the stories I wish I’d heard at school. Fearless women, resilient and bold. This book does a good job at getting these women’s names and stories on people’s lips and on their mind. I’m eager to check out the others in the Forgotten Women series. It is a true injustice to these women’s lives and the things they have had to overcome, that they are ‘forgotten’. Give me more books like these that aren’t just about boring white men. Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Great concept, interesting women, not enough detail in the stories. I wanted to know more - the evolution of how women have been viewed by different cultures over time would have been interesting, but due to categorizing by leader type instead of time and place it’s hard to get a sense of that. What has caused certain cultures to revere women over others? How can we use that to our advantage today? Overall this left me with a depressing vibe ... if you want to be a woman leader or rebel or activ Great concept, interesting women, not enough detail in the stories. I wanted to know more - the evolution of how women have been viewed by different cultures over time would have been interesting, but due to categorizing by leader type instead of time and place it’s hard to get a sense of that. What has caused certain cultures to revere women over others? How can we use that to our advantage today? Overall this left me with a depressing vibe ... if you want to be a woman leader or rebel or activist, like 75% chance you’ll die for your cause. And be forgotten.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sacha

    I would 100% recommend this empowering book! I discovered (beautifully written) stories of women I had never heard off and that I now admire and love! And can we talk about the hard work behind the gorgeous illustrations? The only thing I would reproach is the lack of chronological order. I like that the book divided the women into 5 categories (the rebels, the warriors, the rulers, the activists and the reformers) but I would have appreciated their stories to be chronologically told. 4/5 do your I would 100% recommend this empowering book! I discovered (beautifully written) stories of women I had never heard off and that I now admire and love! And can we talk about the hard work behind the gorgeous illustrations? The only thing I would reproach is the lack of chronological order. I like that the book divided the women into 5 categories (the rebels, the warriors, the rulers, the activists and the reformers) but I would have appreciated their stories to be chronologically told. 4/5 do yourselves a favour and gain knowledge of our forgotten women ⭐️

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tim Hughes

    Forgotten Women - The Leaders is a truly inspirational book. It takes female leaders, the rebels, the warriors, the rulers, the activists and the reformers and tells a short story about each one. The story gives you the background and context, “warts and all”. Each story is lovingly illustrated by female illustrators, all of who are referenced in the back of the book. Well done to Zing Tsjeng for researching the stories, also for bringing them to life. These women won’t be forgotten, but will pr Forgotten Women - The Leaders is a truly inspirational book. It takes female leaders, the rebels, the warriors, the rulers, the activists and the reformers and tells a short story about each one. The story gives you the background and context, “warts and all”. Each story is lovingly illustrated by female illustrators, all of who are referenced in the back of the book. Well done to Zing Tsjeng for researching the stories, also for bringing them to life. These women won’t be forgotten, but will provide inspiration for future generations.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Absolutely incredible! Zing Tsjeng has clearly done her research on all of these amazing women. There is so much detail in this book, and all of it fascinating. I've read books similar to this before and often they revolve around who these women married and who they were the mother of, so this is very refreshing. To read about all of these talented and pioneering women is a gift.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Oda WT

    The concept is GREAT, and very important. What put me off/distracted me was the inconsistent font size, the poor organisation (wish they were organised by year or something within the different subcategories), and somewhat the writing style. The art however was great and the variety of really good art was inspiring.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    Having just read Forgotten Women: The Scientists, much of what I will say is the same. This is full of brief but detailed accounts of strong, fierce women who did what they thought was right or best for their people. I enjoyed learning the stories of women I had heard of and learning of those I hadn’t, all of whom are inspirational.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    wish there was more information instead of brief synopsis of their lives.I did like it it introduced me to some women I did not know about and some I did. Also there is plenty of reference material quoted in back if interested in furthering study.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Merenwen

    Another really good collection of biographies, with fantastic illustrations - I only wish I knew which ones belonged to which artists. I look forward to reading more in this series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    I enjoyed this significantly less than the STEM book in the same series. I can only hope to enjoy the others more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenifer Lavery

    An amazing powerful book Lest we forget women are leaders and warriors too. So many so brave so powerful so strong we are women

  27. 5 out of 5

    M.H.Johnsen

    This is a short overview of women that were leaders in some capacity throughout history but whose names might not appear in your average history book. It is not an exhaustive list, but rather a carefully curated selection of women that have been forgotten (or ignored) drawn from an intentionally diverse pool. While I found the short pieces a bit lacking in detail, it is understandable how that had to be the format for the book - there is simply too much ground to cover to dwell on anything but t This is a short overview of women that were leaders in some capacity throughout history but whose names might not appear in your average history book. It is not an exhaustive list, but rather a carefully curated selection of women that have been forgotten (or ignored) drawn from an intentionally diverse pool. While I found the short pieces a bit lacking in detail, it is understandable how that had to be the format for the book - there is simply too much ground to cover to dwell on anything but the basics. To me, the value of this book was not so much in the individual stories, but in the sheer scope of the material, the number of women whose names I encountered for the first time despite their impact and importance, and it conveys this perfectly.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amberly

    I really enjoyed this book and I found it amazing and very inspiring also I love found out about the women's mentioned in this book. The artwork amazing and I found book very interesting also this book was a quick read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ali Pickard

  30. 4 out of 5

    Estela

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