American Women's History on Film
by Rosanne Welch and Peg A. Lamphier
November 2022, 170pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6660-9
$70, £54, 61€, A96
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6661-6
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Even in the 21st century, most films are about men, by men, and for men.

By exploring a range of films about American women, this book offers readers an opportunity to engage in both history and film in a new way, embracing representation, diversity, and historical context.

Throughout film history, stories of women achieving in American history appear few and far between compared to the many epic tales of male achievement. This book focuses largely on films written by women and about women who tackled the humanist issues of their day and mostly won.

Films about women are important for all viewers of all genders because they remind us that the American Experience is not just male and white. This book examines 10 films, featuring diverse depictions of women and women’s history, and encourages readers to discern how and where these films deviate from historical accuracy. Covering films from the 1950s all the way to the 2010s, this text is invaluable for students and general readers who wish to interrogate the way women’s history appears on the big screen.


  • Focuses on 10 films with an emphasis on racial and class diversity
  • Explores where storytelling and historical accuracy diverge and clarifies the historical record around the events of the films
  • Organized chronologically, emphasizing the progression of women's history as portrayed on film
  • Accessible for general readers as well as students
Rosanne Welch, PhD, serves as executive director of Stephens College MFA in TV and screenwriting, where she created a set of history of screenwriting courses and teaches courses in one-hour drama. Welch edited When Women Wrote Hollywood, named runner up for the Susan Koppelman Award honoring the best anthology, multi-authored, or edited book in feminist studies by the Popular Culture Association. She co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection (named to both the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List and to the list of Best Historical Materials by the American Library Association) and wrote Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Popular Culture.

Peg A. Lamphier, PhD, teaches interdisciplinary humanities at California State Polytechnic University and American women's history at Mount San Antonio College. Lamphier wrote Kate Chase and William Sprague: Politics and Gender in a Civil War Marriage; "Spur Up Your Pegasus": Family Letters of Salmon, Kate, and Nettie Chase, 1844–1873; Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection; and Technical Innovation in American History: An Encyclopedia of Science and Technology.

Hollywood History

Just exactly how accurate are Hollywood's film and television portrayals of U.S. history? What do these portrayals tell us, not only about the events they depict, but also the time in which they were made? Each volume in this unique reference series is devoted to a single topic or key theme in U.S. history, examining approximately 10 major motion pictures or television productions. Substantial essays summarize each film, provide a historical background of the event or period it depicts, and explain how accurate the film’s depiction is, while also analyzing the cultural context in which the film was made.
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