Women in American History
A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection [4 volumes]
by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, Editors
January 2017, 1828pp, 8 1/2x11
4 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-602-9
$480, £370, 418€, A658
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-603-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In the 21st century, women—regardless of class or race—continue to be vastly under-represented in American history.

This four-volume set documents the complexity and richness of women's contributions to American history and culture, empowering all students by demonstrating a more populist approach to the past.

Based on the content of most textbooks, it would be easy to reach the erroneous conclusion that women have not contributed much to America’s history and development. Nothing could be further from the truth. Offering comprehensive coverage of women of a diverse range of cultures, classes, ethnicities, religions, and sexual identifications, this four-volume set identifies the many ways in which women have helped to shape and strengthen the United States.

This encyclopedia is organized into four chronological volumes, with each volume further divided into three sections. Each section features an overview essay and thematic essay as well as detailed entries on topics ranging from Lady Gaga to Ladybird Johnson, Lucy Stone, and Lucille Ball, and from the International Ladies of Rhythm to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The set also includes a vast variety of primary documents, such as personal letters, public papers, newspaper articles, recipes, and more. These primary documents enhance users’ learning opportunities and enable readers to better connect with the subject matter.


  • Provides significantly more detail than typical reference works on women's history and culture, enabling readers to better appreciate the contributions of women of all socio-cultural statuses
  • Covers the astounding range of American women's experience, including women of various economic and racial statuses, religious affiliations, political and ideological identifications, and sexualities
  • Includes a significant selection of primary documents, thereby combining the educational power of secondary and primary literature to create a richer learning experience for users
Peg A. Lamphier, PhD, teaches in an interdisciplinary program at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She also teaches American history at Mt. San Antonio College. An American historian specializing in Civil War and women's history, she authored Kate Chase and William Sprague: Politics and Gender in a Civil War Marriage and Spur Up Your Pegasus: Family Letters of Salmon, Kate, and Nettie Chase, 1844–1873.

Rosanne Welch, PhD, teaches humanities courses for California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and in MFA in Screenwriting programs at California State University, Fullerton, and Stephens College, Missouri. A film and television historian, Welch has published chapters in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology and edited Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work, and Family and ABC-CLIO's The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space.


2017 Award Winner in the "Women's Issues" Category—Best Book Awards, American Book Fest, November 9, 2017

2018 Outstanding Reference Source—Reference and User Services Association [RUSA], February 12, 2018


"The incorporation of primary documents throughout separates this encyclopedia from other similar reference works. Highly recommended for all high school and academic libraries."—ARBA, March 7, 2017

"This four-volume set does more than simply provide biographical information on influential American women. . . . Care was taken to include women of color and LGBTQ women. . . . With applications for history, gender studies, political science, sociology, and more, this would be a useful addition to high school and undergraduate libraries."—Booklist, June 1, 2017

"The work is corrective in bringing those who were ignored into the story and succeeds in representing a wide spectrum of North American womanhood (including some Canadian and Mexican figures from history and folklore as well as individuals associated with the U.S. proper and its precolonial past). . . . Summing Up: Highly recommended. High school through undergraduate students; general readers."—Choice, August 1, 2017

"Recommended for academic libraries serving women’s studies students who use print reference regularly. Public libraries with patrons interested in women’s and U.S. history may also want to purchase."—Library Journal, April 1, 2017

"[T]his set provides a solid foundation for exploring the varied roles women have played in American history. . . . All in all, the content is clear and accessible, making this appropriate for high school, college, and public libraries."—Reference Reviews, April 6, 2018
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.