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Yale Needs Women

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  96 reviews
“If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without.”

In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating “one
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Sourcebooks
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Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sonia Sotomayor. Janet Yellen. Elizabeth Kolbert. Jodie Foster. Maya Lin. Angela Bassett. Anne Applebaum. Sigourney Weaver. Marian Wright Edelman. All of these notable women have gotten a leg up in life by attending Yale University. Applying to Yale may seem like a no brainer to top female high school students today, but as recently as fifty years ago, many top private universities only admitted men. With Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir stimulating the feminist revolution in the late 1960s, ...more
This is a fabulous historical nonfictional work.
Yes, Yale needs more women. Every top Uni out there needs more women. All the women they can get. And I do not exaggerate. It is not an exaggeration, it is something wonderful
For everyone with feminist inclination, this actually might be an interesting nonfictional read. Just a bit of a mind-opener. Really shows that with the right materials, everyone can build beautiful things.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was particularly interested in reading this book as I also found myself an unlikely pioneer in college......among the first women attending Washington and Lee University in 1985. We numbered only 100 of 1600 undergrads on campus. I found many similarities, not all of them positive, between my experiences and those of the women of Yale in 1969. This book is well-written and easily engages the reader with the lives of 5 women as well as many other figures at the university at that time. There ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, yale, women
An engrossing, detailed and frequently appalling account of the first years of coeducation at Yale, serving as a timely reminder of how very different the world was 50 years ago and how glacial was and remains the pace of change at the white male bastion that is Yale. Kingman Brewster in particular comes in for a large share of the opprobrium, I think deservedly and very much at odds with his popular image and memory.

There are minor errors which don't detract from the narrative. No Yorkside
Emily Joy
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this riveting book, Anne Gardiner Perkins presents the stories and history behind Yale’s decision to become coed and start accepting female undergraduate students in 1969, at a time when feminism, women’s lib, and activism was increasingly making the news. Yale Needs Women is one of the best works of feminist nonfiction I have ever read, set during an eventful time in American history. Focusing on the lives of five of the first female students at Yale, this book discusses the issues female ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A few reviewers referred to Yale needs Women as a novel and it is not. This is an academic work although written in a very accessible style for the average reader. The book started as a graduate paper and morphed into a dissertation over time. Anne Gardner Perkins has a wonderful writing style for what could become dry material. Perkins really allows readers into the lives of several of the students and one administrator in particular. The author straddles the line nicely between fitting in the ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins is a fabulous historical account (nonfiction) based on the first females that were accepted and lived on campus at Yale starting the summer/fall term of 1969.

This is particularly interesting for anyone that is interested in female rights/liberties, how we have acquired what we have so far, and to gage how far we still need to go. It is fascinating (and honestly very sad) to see how difficult it was for these women to just want to have the same
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in2019
I love books about feminism, I love books about higher ed, I love books that take a micro topic (the first cohort of women admitted to Yale) and use that to examine a macro topic (women’s place in higher ed from the 1960’s to today).
Cindy H.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book which could have been a dry and overly academic drudgery was however, a riveting page turner. Anne Gardiner Perkins brilliantly captures the trials , disappointments and triumphs that a small band of women pioneered in the early days of coed education. Not only does Perkins cover the history of education at Yale but she skillfully weaves the early days of the equal rights movement, the tumultuous Vietnam war, the beginnings of the feminist movement, rape culture and the discrimination ...more
Elizabeth S
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tightly woven, nuanced true history of five of the First Women who entered Yale College in the fall of 1969. Set during the turbulent 60s, with the Vietnam War protests, Black Panther trials, and the emergence of the Second Wave of Feminism, Perkins brings the era, and the lives of these young women to life. Perkins, herself a 1981 Yale graduate, Rhodes Scholar and PhD historian, was the first woman to serve as Editor in Chief of the legendary Yale Daily News.

The saga of the women's field
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I chose this book to be one of two non-fiction books I would be discussing in my November Book Talk at my library. I found it fascinating and very informative. I devoured it in two days.

Needless to say I was blown away when I attended the Library Journal Day of Dialog in October and who was there on a panel? Anne Gardiner Perkins! She was great (as well as the rest of the panel).

I have been recommending the heck out of this book.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The phrase rankled, and some women liked to extend it: "one thousand male leaders and two hundred concubines," they would say to each other, underscoring what the tagline implied for their own status. The male undergraduates were the given, the nonnegotiable, the heart of Yale's mission. The women were add-ons."

In 1969, Yale admitted the first 575 women into their undergraduate school - a quantity that meant the ladies were outnumbered by their male counterparts at a ratio of roughly 7:1. And
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

"If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without."

In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in
Maggie Gust
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While working on a PhD in History at the University of Massachusetts, the author had a light bulb moment about the first females at historically all-male Yale. The slightly more than 200 women admitted in 1969 as freshmen, sophomores and juniors had become a footnote in history but no one had ever told their stories. So she decided to do it.

Yale Needs Women reminds us of how much has changed over the past 50 years as well as how little essential change has occurred. Those of us who came of age
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book from in exchanged for a First Impressions review.

In the fall of 1969, Yale admitted its first women - 575 of them - to its undergraduate college.The pressure came from male students who were selecting coed universities in preference to the all-male Yale, and the school feared losing its preeminence to other elite schools. So women were admitted -- and Yale thought it had done enough. As author Anne Gardiner Perkins (who entered Yale in 1977 herself)
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this highly readable nonfiction account of the first class of women who were accepted to attend Yale University. This had been a long-standing, male only institution of higher education, only allowing the women on campus to work menial jobs or for short parties in order to try to arrange proper couples. This was part of what drove the push for inclusion of women, in that the "sister" institution was not convenient and therefore Yale was losing attendees to other schools who ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anne Gardner Perkins has done an amazing job with Yale Needs Women. This book tells the stories of some of the women in the first undergraduate class of women to be enrolled at Yale in 1969. It is so easy for us to think that women have always had an equal right to education as men did. This book shows the discrimination women received at Yale and how these women worked to overcome the obstacles they faced in sports, marching band, the school paper, safety on campus, and others. I was really ...more
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Previously an all-male enclave, Yale admitted its first women students in 1969. This book is a surprisingly compelling account of how that change came about and an account of some of the first women to be accepted there. They certainly didn’t have an easy ride, and prejudice against women from both faculty and students survived for quite a while. It’s hard now to remember those days and this is a timely reminder of how women have often had to battle for equal educational rights. The stories of ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous book that follows four women who were in the first class at Yale. What I love about this book, is that in the same way poetry uses few words to state big and powerful ideas, Perkins gives us a scope of a turbulent time in our history that includes civil rights, women's movement, ecology and the Vietnam War, though the experience of these four women. I bought this for each of the millenials in my life, to help them understand how different it was to grow up female not too long ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am one of the first women in Yale College. Fifty years ago it was impossible to really understand what was going on around us. There was no social media, no smartphone in our pocket, no internet with news at one's fingertips. We knew only what we happened to encounter.

1969-1973 at Yale was a tumultuous and chaotic time. Anne Perkins has recreated those years, but with the benefit of her meticulous research and great storytelling I now understand what was going on around me. I am astonished.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a Yale alum, I expected to this book to add some useful context to my recent time at Yale. I did not expect to be so enrapt in Anne Gardiner Perkins’ storytelling and so impressed by each students’ bravery and perseverance in the face of emotional, physical, and sexual assault that I was teary-eyed at nearly every page. The depth of Perkins’ research is impeccable. I could practically see every student’s face and the setting of every scene. Their experiences felt visceral and true, as they ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3 stars

This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.

brief summary
Drawing on first-hand interviews and numerous secondary sources, this eye-opening history follows five primary individuals and nearly a score of others involved in the tumultuous years of the late 1960s and early 1970s as Yale opens the doors of its hallowed halls to students of the fairer sex for the
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating recounting of the first year of Yale admitting women! I was 11 years old in 1969 and my one of my older sisters was starting her freshman year at Virginia Tech, it was easy for me to go back in my mind to picture that time and to imagine how hard it was for those young women at Yale. I highly recommend!
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I think I appreciated this book immensely more because my daughter goes to Yale. Without that connection I think I would have abandoned it. It is the portrait of a turbulent era and the injustice against women is quite enraging, but it is a bit dry and a bit boring.
This is a fascinating look at a little known piece of history: the first few classes admitted to Yale in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Yes, that is correct women were not admitted to Yale's undergraduate school until 1969, there were a few women in some of the graduate programs before that. The number of women was small so that Yale could continue to graduate a 100o male leaders, and many of the first women and men alongside them pushed for more equal class size for years. Women found ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is quite good. The author has done a good job with her research and presenting the fact in a way to keep your interest. This year is the 50th anniversary of Yale admitting women as undergraduates. The reader gets a good idea of what being a student at Yale was like amidst what was happening in the world in 1969.

This book caused me to reflect on my own college experience. I graduated from a large mid-west coed university in 1969. While I did not experience some of the things the women
Shari Suarez
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
In 1969 Yale admitted women for the first time. This is the story of that decision and the hardships and isolation that the first female students endured.
The author spent five years researching this book and it shows. She spoke to several of the students and administrators at the time and told their stories.
I wasn't aware that Yale didn't admit women until 1969 and I was both touched and horrified by their experiences.
Kate Grace
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This fluidly-written book lets readers SEE an overlooked “flashpoint” in American history and culture. Historical research and intersectional feminism at their best.
Lois Lane
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very readable book about the first women to be admitted to Yale. Things that stood out for me were the descriptions of Yale as a traditional men’s Ivy League school as well as the stories of the individual women who were the first to enter Yale. The author has a lively writing style that brings the women’s stories to life.
Alex Richey
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Audiofile Review!

A really fascinating journey through history. I think what surprises me the most is how much initiative these college students showed to make the changes necessary to make women at Yale happen at all. I don't remember the other students at my own university take this kind of initiative. Wow. Very inspiring, and still relevant in today's political climate.
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Anne Gardiner Perkins grew up in Baltimore and attended Yale University, where she earned her BA in history and was the first woman editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. She is also a Rhodes Scholar and completed a BA in modern history at Balliol College, Oxford University. She has spent her life in education, from urban high school teacher to elected school committee member. She received her ...more
“Women were sort of the ornaments to the men, which was not my style,” 0 likes
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