Women's Letters: America From The Revolutionary War To The Present

Front Cover
Lisa Grunwald, Stephen J. Adler
Dial Press, Sep 27, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 824 pages
9 Reviews
Historical events of the last three centuries come alive through these women’s singular correspondences—often their only form of public expression. In 1775, Rachel Revere tries to send financial aid to her husband, Paul, in a note that is confiscated by the British; First Lady Dolley Madison tells her sister about rescuing George Washington’s portrait during the War of 1812; one week after JFK’s assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy pens a heartfelt letter to Nikita Khrushchev; and on September 12, 2001, a schoolgirl writes a note of thanks to a
New York City firefighter, asking him, “Were you afraid?”

The letters gathered here also offer fresh insight into the personal milestones in women’s lives. Here is a mid-nineteenth-century missionary describing a mastectomy performed without anesthesia; Marilyn Monroe asking her doctor to spare her ovaries in a handwritten note she taped to her stomach before appendix surgery; an eighteen-year-old telling her mother about her decision to have an abortion the year after Roe v. Wade; and a woman writing to her parents and in-laws about adopting a Chinese baby.

With more than 400 letters and over 100 stunning photographs, Women’s Letters is a work of astonishing breadth and scope, and a remarkable testament to the women who lived–and made–history.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present

User Review  - Goodreads

Primary source collection. Letters, all transcribed and easy to read. Famous women and un-famous women. It's wonderful, you can pick it up, read one or two, put it down, or curl up with it for hours. Some letters will really just break your heart. Read full review

Review: Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present

User Review  - Goodreads

I love history! So often history books ignores women's role and experiences. This book allows you to read letters from women written between the 1700's and 2000's. This book contains 700+ pages of American history as seen through the eyes of the women who lived it. Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

31 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Lisa Grunwald is the author of the novels Whatever Makes You Happy, New Year’s Eve, The Theory of Everything, and Summer. She is a former magazine editor.

Stephen J. Adler is editor in chief of Business Week magazine and author of The Jury: Trial and Error in the American Courtroom. Grunwald and Adler live with their two children in New York City.

Bibliographic information