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Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History


Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History:
American Women as Agents of Change


This class is now fully enrolled. Pleae call 202 349-1195 or send an email to to be put on the waitlist. 


Four Wednesdays, May 2, May 16, May 30, June 6, 1-3 p.m. 

1-3 p.m.

$100 ($80 members)



Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed
In Her Own Right: The Life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Elisabeth Griffith
Ida: A Sword Among Lions by Paula J. Giddings
The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins…by Kirstin Downey

Or any biography approved by the instructor.






From the culture clash between indigenous people and European settlers and the political upheavals of the American Revolution and Jacksonian democracy, to women’s rights, birth control, Progressivism, suffrage, civil rights, all the way to the Equal Rights Amendment and Title IX, we will survey four centuries of American women’s history in this class. This is a narrative of social change and of change agents such as Sojourner Truth, Jane Addams, Margaret Sanger, Mary Church Terrell, Martha Griffiths and Gloria Steinem. The chronology of the course will be the backdrop for the biographies we read.


Elisabeth Griffith, PhD, loves to teach women’s history because it is populated by a diverse array of gutsy women who fought to secure the equal rights we now take for granted. Praised by both the New York Times (“one of 15 best books of the year”) and the Wall Street Journal (“one of five best books on women’s history”), her biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, In Her Own Right inspired Ken Burn’s documentary, “Not for Ourselves Alone.” Recently retired as Headmistress of The Madeira School, Betsy is working on a history of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Caleb's Crossing (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780670021048
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 5/2011

ISBN-13: 9780393337761
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 9/2009

ISBN-13: 9780195037296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oxford University Press, USA, 11/1985

ISBN-13: 9780060797362
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks, 3/2009

ISBN-13: 9781400078561
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor, 2/2010