Women and War

A Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present

by Bernard A. Cook, Editor


War is a man's game—or so goes the standard wisdom. But from the beginning of recorded history, women have played an integral part in war: leaders to warriors, resistance fighters to resisters, providers-of-aid to aides-de-camp. This encyclopedia covers the entire range of women's role in war and battle.

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May 2006


Pages 742
Volumes 2
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Women's Studies/General
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    Hardcover: £147.00/160,00€/A$245.00

In this unique encyclopedia, 120 leading scholars from around the world provide comprehensive treatment of the role of women in war, from the first written history to the present.

This authoritative encyclopedia presents the work of leading scholars from all over the world to give the first detailed coverage of the role of women in wars throughout history. Histories of war are typically histories of men: great leaders and heroic fighters. Yet the roles of women often receive only limited coverage.

Except for such notables as Joan of Arc, traditional histories give short shrift to women as leaders and fighters. Similarly, the direct victimization—particularly sexual abuse as a weapon of terror and domination—and cultural dislocations women suffer in war float as background, without detailed coverage. This work represents a first, devoted in its entirety to thorough examination of all aspects of women in war. For the first time, readers have a single source for information on the scope of women's role in war, and war's effects on them.


  • Nearly 500 A–Z entries on women as combatants, spies, auxiliaries, medics, supporters, opponents, and victims of war from antiquity to the present and on all continents
  • Contributions from 140 leading scholars from the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe
  • Sidebars containing original documents from autobiographies, archives, and newspapers present firsthand coverage of women at war
  • Text enlivened by more than 70 photographs of women combatants, medical personnel, peace activists, spies, and secret agents


  • The first-ever source devoted entirely to all aspects of women in war as combatants, battlefield support, nurses, resistance fighters, and war opponents—the full spectrum of roles women have played
  • Rigorous scholarship from distinguished experts representing the best information available worldwide
  • Broad scope covers wars from the beginning of history to the present conflicts in Iraq, Sudan, and elsewhere
  • Extensive use of original documents and photographs brings the text to life and presents women's experience in their own words
Author Info

Bernard A. Cook, PhD, is Provost Distinguished Professor of History at Loyola University, New Orleans, LA. His published works include Belgium: A History and Europe since 1945: An Encyclopedia.



"Recommended. All libraries supporting lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers."Choice

"Women and War is suitable for both the general reader and the specialist. The encyclopedia is recommended for addition to the reference collections in public libraries, high school libraries, and academic libraries, especially those with strong women's studies and military history collections."Reference & User Services Quarterly

"These volumes provide an excellent introduction to women's activities in war and can serve as a starting point for more in-depth research."Feminist Collections

"[A] reference no collection should be without: from specialty military collections to general-interst public library holdings"Midwest Book Review

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