It’s impossible to ignore what an incredibly exciting time this is for women in America. We’re looking forward to the very real possibility of electing our first woman to the Oval Office, while throughout our government women leaders are reaching across the aisles and transforming the way things are done.
We wanted to learn more about the bold, powerful and graceful women who have stepped forward and paved the way for our current moment, so we scoured the shelves for the most compelling stories of American change-makers, from insightful historical tales to revealing memoirs. Enjoy—and don’t forget to tell us which ones will make your summer reading list in the comments!
Michelle Obama: A Life
by PETER SLEVIN
This illuminating biography chronicles Michelle Obama’s life from a working-class childhood on Chicago’s South Side, to attending Harvard Law School in the 80s, to helping a young community organizer named Barack become President of the United States. Through intimate interviews with friends, family and Michelle herself, author Peter Slevin weaves a thoughtful narrative that invites you to get to know the First Lady on a whole new level.
The Highest Glass Celing
by Ellen Fitzpatrick
You probably won’t be surprised to learn the dream of a woman President has been alive and kicking since before we even had the right to vote. In this rich and compelling book from best-selling historian Ellen Fitzpatrick, you’ll meet three incredible women who set their sights on the American Presidency and made a run for the White House in 1872, 1964 and 1972. Find out what inspired these brave and radical women to defy all convention and see for themselves what no one else could.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis:
The Untold Story
by Barbara Leaming
This instant New York Times bestseller provides a fresh perspective on the life of one of the most admired and misunderstood women of the 20th century. Barbara Leaming goes where no biographer has gone before to show us the very real trauma Jackie O moved through following JFK’s assassination. With sensitivity and depth, the book invites us to see this important American story with renewed compassion and extend that empathy to all those who suffer from PTSD.
How Women Are Changing the Way America Works
by Jay Newton-Small
Has the presence of women in Washington reached a tipping point? Jay Newton Small thinks so. As one of the most deeply respected and sourced journalists in DC, Jay has seen first hand the impact women are having from the White House to Capitol Hill. In Broad Influence he draws from exclusive, behind-closed-doors reporting and interviews with the top women in Washington, offering an insightful look at how DC is being transformed from the inside out.
And the Good News Is:
Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side
by Dana Perino
Former presidential press secretary Dana Perino knows a thing or two about looking on the bright side. In this charming memoir, the Fox News contributor reflects on her unlikely journey from Wyoming to the White House and all the challenges she’s faced along the way. Told with humor and optimism, it’s a personal story that’s full of practical life advice, career guidance and expert lessons in graceful yet convincing communication.
The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies
by Kate Andersen Brower
This best-selling biography reveals what life is like upstairs and downstairs at the world’s most powerful address, examining why the role of First Lady is one of the most underestimated and challenging positions in Washington. Former White House Correspondent Kate Anderson Brower gives us a candid look at 10 remarkable women who have defined that role in our modern era, from Jackie Kennedy to Nancy Regan to Hillary Clinton and finally Michelle Obama.
The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
by Irin Carmon
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never sought fame, but fifty years into her career she became a feminist icon inspiring blogs, tattoos and viral videos. Written by the founder of the popular Notorious RBG Tumblr, this unique and fascinating portrait of the Justice weaves together reporting, annotated court dissents, rare archival photos and documents to create a never-before-told story of a powerful, trailblazing woman who transcends generational divides.
by Hillary Clinton
What is it really like to be the Secretary of State of the United States of America? In her latest book Hillary Clinton gives us an inside look at the four extraordinary years during which she worked with President Obama to repair global alliances, wind down two wars and address a major financial crisis. Looking forward to becoming our next leader, Clinton shares her vision for what it will take for the United States to thrive in the twenty-first century, making a passionate case for human rights and the full participation of women, youth and LGBT people.
When Women Win:
Emily’s List and the Rise of Women in American Politics
by Ellen R. Malcolm
Meet the woman behind EMILY’s List, the first American political action committee (PAC) dedicated to electing Democratic women leaders to office. Ellen R. Malcolm’s amazingly inspiring tale begins in 1985, with just 25 influential women gathered in her living room. Over the past twenty years EMILY’s List has raised and spent over $240 million to help elect 19 senators, 11 governors and 110 House representatives—all women. It just goes to show, when women stand together, we win.
Rad American Women A-Z:
Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History…and Our Future!
by Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl
While the history of women holding office in this country is short, we do have centuries of trailblazing activists, artists, scientists and suffragettes to thank for getting us to where we are today. This fab coffee-table book features 26 of them, from iconic activist Angela Davis, to pioneering 19th century journalist Nellie Bly, to Chief Justice Sonia Sotamayor. It’s just the thing to have on hand when you need a reminder that more is always possible.
A Fighting Chance
by Elizabeth Warren
In 2012 Elizabeth Warren became the first female Senator from Massachusetts in one of the most competitive and most watched Senate races in the country. In her best-selling memoir, she shares her unbelievable journey from elementary school teacher to distinguished law professor to being one of the most influential women in Washington. Her story is full of passion and humor and sheds light on the challenges plaguing America’s middle class in the wake of the financial crisis.