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Shady Ladies: Nineteen Surprising and Rebellious American Women
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Shady Ladies: Nineteen Surprising and Rebellious American Women

3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  12 reviews

Suzann Ledbetter has researched and written about American history for almost twenty years. The depth of her work is reflected in these well-crafted and enormously entertaining biographies of little-known---till now---Shady Ladies. Some were crackpots, some criminals, some charlatans, some genuine talents, but almost all have been sadly forgotten.
Unsung though they may be,
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Forge Books
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Quite naturally, we tend to hear about women who had staggering or groundbreaking achievements rather than those whose stories were not quite as groundbreaking or "important". Ledbetter has chosen 18 lesser known women and one well known ("Unsinkable Molly Brown) and related their stories--and what stories! I tend to forget, based on overbearing opinions of recent feminists, that women throughout history were able to make their own way and make a difference at times; we just don't hear about the ...more
Beth Wood
These biographies of women you've (mostly) never heard of are fascinating. I was enthralled by these little-known characters. I have two quibbles with the book - one small, one larger. The small gripe is that the title is dumb. You can't change the meaning of shady ladies to make it be about rebellious or enterprising women, as opposed to prostitutes. My second gripe is the editing of this book is pretty dismal. While Ledbetter's bios are overall entertaining, she is apparently averse to commas ...more
Librarian Laura
Only a few of the 19 women from Victorian America were women of ill repute. But all of them were independent, unconventional, and unwilling to let a world stacked against them get in their way. Some were doctors, some were businesswomen, some were lawmakers, some were pioneers - but they all struggled long and hard, and were all absolutely awesome. I'm planning on buying it, it's that good.
Annagrace K.
This book was full of women I've never heard of and women I wanted to hear all about, and it seemed so promising. Unfortunately it lacked good editing, felt more like a huge Wikipedia article (or articles, I guess), and wasn't that interesting or engaging. I finished it but ONLY because I hate to be a quitter.
Callee Jaeger
The writing is choppy and lacks clarity. The author uses far too many trite phrases. There are some interesting tidbits, but overall, this makes for ponderous reading.
The bibliography is fairly extensive, good for further research.
This book has ladies with very interesting lives. I just think it could have been more interesting if it was written more in story form. It seemed very much like I was reading a text book.
Jul 25, 2011 Tori added it
2009- Some of the stories were interesting, but the writing wasn't very well done. And some of them were quite short.
I like this book. It focuses on 19 famous (or infamous) women from history and the author has a great sense of humor.
Really enjoyed these small chapters entailing adventures and general lives of some truly incredible women.
Adrienne Kiser
Some of these stories were interesting, but I think I was expecting a more notorious kind of shady.
Is there a half star, because this book would get it.
Carrie Pirmann
American history
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Fifteen or twenty minutes of intense Website surfing suggests that biographical segments are usually devoted to former vocations, titles published and awards won. The latter two categories seem redundant to additional electronic buttonry labeled Book List, to homepages advertising current tomes, and mentions elsewhere of honors bestowed, humbly received and treasured in perpetuity.

As for the forme
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