Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Hope Stoddard devotes approximately nine to fifteen pages of biographical material to each individual covered in Famous American Women. Her subjects include such well-known historical figures as Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix, Amelia Earhart, Mary Baker Eddy, Margaret Fuller, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, Margaret Mead, Lucretia Mott, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, and Harriet Tubman. Stoddard also provides biographies of several famous singers, dancers, artists, and writers, such as Louisa May Alcott, Marian Anderson, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Cassatt, Willa Cather, Agnes De Mille, Emily Dickinson, Dorothea Lange, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gertrude Stein, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

In addition, the book offers portraits of lesser-known or less-often-covered women, including Mary McLeod Bethune, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Lillian Gilbreth, Edith Hamilton, Oveta Culp Hobby, Malvina Hoffman, Suzanne Langer, Mary Lyon, Maria Mitchell, Harriet Monroe, Constance Baker Motley, Rosa Ponselle, Florence Sabin, Margaret Chase Smith, and “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias.

At the end of each section, Stoddard includes a bibliography with two to ten sources, which makes this book an excellent and valuable reference tool. Stoddard’s comprehensive index of subjects—including civil rights, education, and feminism—also allows for comparisons between women and for broader study. In...

(The entire section is 432 words.)