March 13, 2024

Women's History Month Reading List

Author: Rachel Lawyer, Library Instruction Assistant |

Celebrate Women’s History Month this March with USU Libraries by checking out these ebook and audiobook selections available to students, staff, and faculty at all USU campuses. To learn more about Women’s History Month and check out more books from our virtual book display, plus podcasts, digital collections, and more, visit our libguide at

100 Years of Women’s Suffrage book jacket

100 Years of Women’s Suffrage compiled by Dawn Durante

100 Years of Women's Suffrage commemorates the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment by bringing together essential scholarship on the women's suffrage movement and women's voting previously published by the University of Illinois Press. With an original introduction by Nancy A. Hewitt, the volume illuminates the lives and work of key figures while uncovering the endeavors of all women--across lines of gender, race, class, religion, and ethnicity--to gain, and use, the vote. Beginning with works that focus on cultural and political suffrage battles, the chapters then look past 1920 at how women won, wielded, and continue to fight for access to the ballot. A curation of important scholarship on a pivotal historical moment, 100 Years of Women's Suffrage captures the complex and enduring struggle for fair and equal voting rights.

Ebook Available

The Agitators book jacket

The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights by Dorothy Wickenden

This book follows Harriet Tubman, Martha Coffin Wright, and Frances A. Seward as they fight for abolition and women’s rights from the 1820s through the end of the Civil War. Through richly detailed letters from the time and exhaustive research, Wickenden traces the second American revolution these women fought to bring about, the toll it took on their families, and its lasting effects on the country. Riveting and profoundly relevant to our own time, The Agitators brings a vibrant, original voice to this transformative period in our history.

Ebook Available

A History of Women in Astronomy and Space Exploration book jacket

A History of Women in Astronomy and Space Exploration: Exploring the Trailblazers of STEM by Dale DeBakcsy

For the last four hundred years, women have played a part far in excess of their numerical representation in the history of astronomical research and discovery. It was a woman who gave us our first tool for measuring the distances between stars, and another who told us for the first time what those stars were made of. It was women who first noticed the rhythmic noise of a pulsar, the temperature discrepancy that announced the existence of white dwarf stars, and the irregularities in galactic motion that informed us that the universe we see might be only a small part of the universe that exists. And yet, in spite of the magnitude of their achievements, for centuries women were treated as essentially second class citizens within the astronomical community, contained in back rooms, forbidden from communicating with their male colleagues, provided with repetitive and menial tasks, and paid starvation wages. This book tells the tale of how, in spite of all those impediments, women managed, by sheer determination and genius, to unlock the secrets of the night sky.

Ebook Available

Latina Lives, Latina Narratives book jacket

Latina Lives, Latina Narratives: Influential Essays by Vicki L. Ruiz

This book brings together the most influential and widely known writings of Vicki L. Ruiz, a leading voice in the fields of Chicana/o, Latina/o, women's, and labor history. For nearly forty years, Ruiz has produced scholarship that has provided the foundation for a rich and nuanced understanding of the ways in which Chicanas and Latinas negotiate the structures impinging on their everyday lives. From challenging familial, patriarchal cultural norms, building interethnic social networks in the neighborhood and workplace, and organizing labor unions, to fighting gender and racial discrimination in the courts, at work, in the schools, and on the streets, Ruiz's studies have examined the countless struggles, roadblocks, and victories Chicanas and Latinas have faced in the twentieth century and beyond.

Ebook Available

Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream book jacket

Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad, with Lori L. Tharps

Growing up in New Jersey as the only African American Muslim at school, Ibtihaj Muhammad always had to find her own way. When she discovered fencing, a sport traditionally reserved for the wealthy, she had to defy expectations and make a place for herself in a sport she grew to love.

From winning state championships to three-time All-America selections at Duke University, Ibtihaj was poised for success, but the fencing community wasn’t ready to welcome her with open arms just yet. As the only woman of color and the only religious minority on Team USA’s saber fencing squad, Ibtihaj had to chart her own path to success and Olympic glory.

Proud is a moving coming-of-age story from one of the nation’s most influential athletes and illustrates how she rose above it all.

Ebook Available

A short history of queer women book jacket

A Short History of Queer Women by Kirsty Loehr

Queer women have always existed – let’s put them back in the history books.

No, they weren’t ‘just friends’!

Queer women have been written out of history since, well, forever. ‘But historians famously care about women!’, said no one. From Anne Bonny and Mary Read who sailed the seas together disguised as pirates, to US football captain Megan Rapinoe declaring ‘You can’t win a championship without gays on your team’, via countless literary salons and tuxedos, A Short History of Queer Women sets the record straight on women who have loved other women through the ages.

Ebook Available

The Sisterhood book jacket

The Sisterhood: How a Network of Black Women Writers Changed American Culture by Courtney Thorsson

One Sunday afternoon in February 1977, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and several other Black women writers met at June Jordan’s Brooklyn apartment to eat gumbo, drink champagne, and talk about their work. Calling themselves “The Sisterhood,” the group—which also came to include Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, Margo Jefferson, and others—would get together once a month over the next two years, creating a vital space for Black women to discuss literature and liberation.

The Sisterhood tells the story of how this remarkable community transformed American writing and cultural institutions.

Ebook Available

Working 9 to 5 book jacket

Working 9 to 5: A Women's Movement, a Labor Union, and the Iconic Movie by Ellen Cassedy

9 to 5 wasn’t just a comic film—it was a movement built by Ellen Cassedy and her friends. Ten office workers in Boston started out sitting in a circle and sharing the problems they encountered on the job. In a few short years, they had built a nationwide movement that united people of diverse races, classes, and ages.

They took on the corporate titans. They leafleted and filed lawsuits and started a woman-led union. They won millions of dollars in back pay and helped make sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination illegal.

The women office workers who rose up to win rights and respect on the job transformed workplaces throughout America. And along the way came Dolly Parton’s toe-tapping song and a hit movie inspired by their work.

Working 9 to 5 is a lively, informative, firsthand account packed with practical organizing lore that will embolden anyone striving for fair treatment.

Ebook Available

Worth Their Salt book jacket

Worth Their Salt, Too: More Notable but Often Unnoted Women of Utah edited by Colleen Whitley

A follow-up to the highly successful Worth Their Salt, published in 1996, Worth Their Salt, Too brings together a new set of biographies of women whose roles in Utah's history have not been fully recognized, despite their significance to the social and cultural matrix, past and present, of the state. These women-community and government leaders, activists, artists, writers, scholars, politicians, and others-made important contributions to the state's history and culture. Some of them had experiences that reveal new aspects of the state's history, while others simply led lives so interesting that their stories beg to be told. This new collection demonstrates, as Worth Their Salt did, the diversity of Utah's society and the many different roles women have played in it.

Ebook Available

Vanguard book jacket

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All by Martha S. Jones

In Vanguard, acclaimed historian Martha S. Jones offers a new history of African American women's political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of black women—Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more—who were the vanguard of women's rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals.

Ebook Available