Mary Ritter Beard drew on her early activism for woman suffrage and the labor movement in writing Woman’s Work in Municipalities (1915) and A Short History of the American Labor Movement (1920). In addition to collaborating with her husband, Charles A. Beard, on several influential history books, including The Rise of American Civilization (1927), she documented women’s history in America Through Women’s Eyes (1933) and Laughing Their Way: Women’s Humor in America (1934). Her feminist approach to history is exemplified in On Understanding Women (1931) and Woman as Force in History (1946).
Carroll, Berenice. “Mary Beard’s Woman as Force in History: A Critique.” In Liberating Women’s History, edited by Berenice Carroll. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976. A critical analysis of Beard’s thesis about women as active agents of history.
Cott, Nancy F. Women Making History: Mary Ritter Beard Through Her Letters. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991. In addition to providing a fascinating collection of letters, Cott includes a superb introduction to Beard’s life and thought. The photographs add to the charm of the book.
Lane, Ann J. Making Women’s History: The Essential Mary Ritter Beard. New York: City University of New York Press, 2001. A reprint that includes a collection of Beard’s writings with headnotes, a seventy-page biographical essay, and a new preface that assesses her place in feminist history and thought.
Lebsock, Suzanne. “Reading Mary Beard.” Reviews in American History 17 (1989): 324-339. A useful summary of Beard’s writings and ideas.
Smith, Bonnie. “Seeing Mary Beard.” Feminist Studies 10 (Fall, 1984): 399-416. Argues that Beard had a great deal of influence on her husband’s thought and that she made major contributions to their collaborative writings.
Turoff, Barbara. Mary Beard as Force in History. Dayton, Ohio: Wright State University Press, 1979. An excellent biography that emphasizes Beard’s political activism.