ABC-CLIO/Greenwood - Reference

Amazons to Fighter Pilots

A Biographical Dictionary of Military Women

by Reina Pennington


This unique book tells the stories of women who have fought—as soldiers, sailors, and pilots—from antiquity to the present.

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Cover image for Amazons to Fighter Pilots

April 2003


Pages 848
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Women's Studies/General

In 1942, during the battle of Stalingrad, fighter pilot Liliia Litviak became the first woman to shoot down an enemy aircraft. In the 1850s, Lakshmi Bai, a horsewoman, good shot, and Rani of the Indian principality of Jhansi, rallied her subjects and defended the principality against a British siege. From antiquity to the present, thousands of women have served in the military as soldiers, sailors, physicians, and pilots, yet their stories have been hidden from history. This book tells their stories, with particular focus on women who fought.

Entries profile over 300 remarkable women of the military, covering such groups as the Amazons, women in the Spanish Civil War, and Native Americans. The full sweep of their experience is contextualized through an extensive timeline and introductory survey. Additional tidbits—quotations, statistics, information on women and war—appear in sidebars throughout the text. Lists grouping entries by geographical regions, time periods, and branch of service serve as finding aids for researchers, making this a unique resource for students, scholars, and the general reader.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Gerhard WeinbergPrefaceList of Entries by Geographic RegionList of Entries by Time Period/ConflictList of Entries by Role/Branch of ServiceList of Entries by Prisoner/POW StatusIntroduction: A Historical Overview of Women in the Military and in WarAbbreviationsEntriesTimelineAppendix A: Women as Prisoners of War: A Bibliographic SurveyAppendix B: Women, Medicine, and the Military: A Bibliographic SurveyBibliographyIndexAbout the Contributors



"This peerless work, situated at the nexus of military history and women's studies, is an essential companion to more male-biased biographical resources like Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography. Highly recommended. All collections."—Choice

"[C]ontains many aids for the researcher, including four different lists of entries, a comprehensive timeline, and an index. There are also historiographical essays on such subjects as Women, Medicine, and the Military and an extensive bibliography."—H-NET

"[T]his two-volume biographical dictionary is one of the first to celebrate women specifically in active military roles. . . . This book stands apart because of its scholary approach and particular attention paid to women in combat roles."—Feminist Collections

"This beautifully illustrated two-volume work may be the most important encyclopedia ever written in the field of women and war. . . . When future historians discern the point at which the study of women and war reached a critical mass, they may conclude that the publication of Amazons to Fighter Pilots marks the dividing point between an era when military women were ignored as irrelevant and one in which historians can no longer ignore their contributions. . . . A must for all university libraries and serious researchers in the field of women and war. It will be an invaluable resource for decades to come."—The Journal of Military History

"Amazons to Fighter Pilots is suitable for the general reader as well as the specialist. . . . [T]here is no other biographical dictionary that pulls together women combatants in quite this way, making it essential for women's studies and military history collections. Amazons to Fighter Pilots is also recommended for general reference collections in college and university libraries, in public libraries, and in high school libraries."—Reference & User Services Quarterly

"Amazons to Fighter Pilots is a necessary addition to college and university libraries and a sound selection for high-school and public libraries."—Booklist, Starred Review


Booklist Editors' Choice, 2003 New York Public Library Best of Reference, 2004

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