An Encyclopedia of American Women at War

From the Home Front to the Battlefields

by Lisa Tendrich Frank, Editor


With the deployment of female soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans imagine that women's involvement in combat has been a recent phenomenon. Yet, throughout U.S. history, women have participated and excelled in the military, even when society was less accepting of their roles. Their contributions continue to shape the policies and politics of the institutions they serve.

Print Flyer
Cover image for An Encyclopedia of American Women at War

January 2013


Pages 804
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Women's Studies/General

A sweeping review of the role of women within the American military from the colonial period to the present day.

In America, the achievements, defeats, and glory of war are traditionally ascribed to men. Women, however, have been an integral part of our country's military history from the very beginning. This unprecedented encyclopedia explores the accomplishments and actions of the "fairer sex" in the various conflicts in which the United States has fought.

An Encyclopedia of American Women at War: From the Home Front to the Battlefields contains entries on all of the major themes, organizations, wars, and biographies related to the history of women and the American military. The book traces the evolution of their roles—as leaders, spies, soldiers, and nurses—and illustrates women's participation in actions on the ground as well as in making the key decisions of developing conflicts. From the colonial conflicts with European powers to the current War on Terror, coverage is comprehensive, with material organized in an easy-to-use, A–Z, ready-reference format.


  • An extensive bibliography offers additional reading and research opportunities
  • Accessibly written essays introduce the thematic developments of each major conflict in American history
  • Supporting photographs and illustrations depict key female figures
  • An informative overview in the frontmatter provides historical context to women's roles in the military


  • Written by leading scholars of American history
  • Contains information regarding a wide range of American women, including those of various ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds
  • Offers a unique women-centered perspective on historical events
  • Presents the relationship between women and the growth and changes in the military
Author Info

Lisa Tendrich Frank, PhD, is an independent scholar. She is the author of several articles and editor of ABC-CLIO's Civil War: People and Perspectives and Women in the American Civil War. Frank received her doctorate at the University of Florida.



"This would be an excellent purchase for high school, academic, and public libraries."Booklist

"Written by leading American history scholars, this two-volume encyclopedia is an excellent resource for anyone interested in women's contributions to the American military from Colonial times through the recent war on terrorism. . . . This set provides a walk-through history with women warriors as it explores their amazing accomplishments in a variety of conflicts and wars, via entries that include organizations, biographies, and women's roles as spies, soldiers, and nurses. The extensive bibliography and easy-to-use A to Z format provide researchers with many areas from which to launch further explorations. Photographs and illustrations enhance this interesting work."Choice

"The editor of this work, Lisa Tendrich Frank, has compiled in a two volumes, the most informative and thorough treatment of the role American women during wartime. . . . This text is highly recommended for both high school and college libraries."ARBA

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