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Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,680 ratings  ·  372 reviews
A bold and gripping graphic history of the fight for women's rights

The ongoing struggle for women's rights has spanned human history, touched nearly every culture on Earth, and encompassed a wide range of issues, such as the right to vote, work, get an education, own property, exercise bodily autonomy, and beyond. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is a fun and fasc
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200 pages
Published 2019 by Penguin Random House
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  1,680 ratings  ·  372 reviews


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Start your review of Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights
Melki
I feel like a real heel giving this such a low rating, but, damn - the effort is commendable, the artwork is amazing, the presentation . . . well, it's awful. First of all, there's just too, too much: trying to cover history from 3000 BCE to the present day in one book is a daunting task, and the author ends up giving short shrift to all the women involved. I also wish there'd been a more engaging story to pull the reader into the past, instead of what amounted to short biographies of each woman ...more
Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany)
Love, love, LOVE!!! This graphic history of women's rights is brilliantly curated, pitch perfect in tone, easy to read, nuanced, intersectional, AND has gorgeous artwork. Easily a new favorite for me.

The book has a sort of frame story that guides us through the past in a very smart way that allows for important side conversations. Basically it's set in the future where a very diverse group of women are taking a course on the history of women's rights and their AI teacher takes them into the pas
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Carolyn
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
SO MUCH information here, so many names and faces and ideas and movements and moments and...

And too much.

Liked it a lot, think I have some students who will get a lot out of it, but at a certain point, you start to feel like you are just reading a list. I wish they had gone for more depth and less breadth. Or that there were followup mini graphic novels for each woman mentioned! Now that would make a great set, ha. Yes, impossible.

But still: it's worth that they're bringing up names and introduc
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Lata
This was great! Using example after example of woman after woman advocating for: women’s rights, worker safety, ability to vote, dismantling of racist and anti-LGBTQ+ laws, accessibility, education, anti-poverty, child protection and peace, the author Mikki Kendall showed how long the struggle has been. It often feels totally fruitless and disheartening, but each snippet about a female figure working hard for change reminded me that change has been happening. And continues to.
There are so many w
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M.
Spot on about feminism! Just wished it had talked more about trans and non-binary people. Still, an amazing comic and a must for all libraries where young people are. I can’t believe this isn’t required for all because it’s just that darned good! The illustrations are gorgeous and the storytelling is phenomenal. I love this so much, and I hope everyone reads it!
Morgan
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
IMO This was the best comic book of 2019.

Compared to other comic books about feminism, this one is spot on. Finally found one that focus on the topic rather than the authors take on the subject, that really just about them or how they were inspired by these woman. Mikki Kendall does a great job focusing on all types of women. She also points out the flaws of feminism too. A lot of this is focused on non-white women and their role (hence the cover). Don't think women rights meant rights for all w
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Kelly
Framed as a classroom adventure-lecture in the future, the comic is an exploration of women's rights fights from antiquity to the present, exploring rights for marginalized communities more broadly. Short profiles of leaders in various movements include well-known activists and even more lesser-known activists from across the globe and how they contributed to the fight for equality.

The art is captivating and engaging, and I love how this is such a jumping off point for learning more about these
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Rod Brown
A nice survey of the history of women's rights movements. Starting in 4500 BCE, it moves fast, hitting the high points and giving most of the 200+ women profiled a single panel or a page at most. Hopefully it works as a jumping off point, inspiring readers to dig into whichever aspect most fascinates them. ...more
Ruby
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
This book. Man. So much information, so much suffering and pride. So much history...it profiles sooo many hard-working women but the profiles are are short so I know it could have been ten times as long.

We've come so far. And yet so far to go.
(I did tear up at some parts.)
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Krista
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was looking forward to this so much that I pre-ordered it, and for the most part it lived up to my extremely (possibly unfairly) high expectations.

This book covers a *lot* of ground and many many women and events, so it can't go into much depth about any of them and it can't touch on everything, due to space constraints. It will probably whet your appetite for more. That's a good thing, even if it's mildly frustrating! This is meant to be a primer and it is one. Some parts are USA-heavy which
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Lauren Friedman-Way
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was a frustrating read; on the one hand, it introduced readers to many new female faces, but on the other hand, they are such quick snapshots that there's no real new learning happening. There's little cohesion, though they make an effort to have "themes" in each chapter. I applaud the effort to cross cultures and geographic boundaries, but I think this would have worked much better as a series, rather than trying to squeeze so much into one relatively slim volume. Readers are unlikely to t ...more
Red🏳️‍⚧️
Great addition to any library or classroom! You can open it up at any page and be on your way to learning new things. Yes it’s covering a wiiiiiiide range of people, places, and time periods. Well actually it’s covering literally all of them! But there’s both macroscopic *and* granular details, and it’s a great jumping off point of one or more historical figures are interesting to you. You get a little about them, their history, their context, and you can bounce off from there. It’s intersection ...more
scout
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2020: 3/50

Hi, sorry I wrote this later than I should’ve (school was busy). I hate writing critical reviews but I’m going to have to :(, sorry...

Basically, I picked this book up in the school library and thought, wow this looks a bit interesting! Two of my best friends read graphic novels and I always feel a bit left out when they chat about them, so decided to give this one a go, as I am a feminist and loved the idea!

But I feel like the authors tried to cram so much information without actually
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Keen Reader
Feb 05, 2022 rated it liked it

3.5 Stars!

If there's one thing that this book makes clear, its for how long so many people in so many places have had to fight, struggle, sacrifice and suffer in order to obtain even the most fundamental or basic of necessitates, rights or conditions. Although this focuses on the female struggle, it also highlights the similar plight of race and class too.

Of course the problem with this is that there is just too much information, so many people crammed in, some with only a face or a few panels d
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Lily
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This graphic novel is sweeping overview of women's roles in human history across different cultures. While it does well at maintaining an intersectional tone, as evidenced by the "characters" guiding us through history and their questions, discussions, and conflicts with each other, some of the values espoused (leadership, warriors) feel like very dominant male and patriarchal standards to measure the success of women by. While I did learn about several overlooked characters and various historic ...more
orangerful
This book was FULL of information I did not know. SO MUCH INFORMATION. Maybe...too much? It became a bit overwhelming after awhile, as the many different women through-out history flew past on each page. I wanted to know more about them and their stories, but when you are covering pretty much all of history in a single book, it starts to feel like a huge information dump rather than a story. I almost wish this has been published as a series with slightly more in-depth biographies and context for ...more
Rebecca
So many incredible women featured in this! I'm planning on combing through the index to read more about my favourites. I appreciated that the focus of this history wasn't simply on white women or suffragettes, and covers different periods of history. I wish parts could have fleshed out more since they were mentioned in passing and at times the amount of names/people was almost overwhelming. Also at times I didn't care for the classroom concept. Really nice art though. ...more
Stephanie
A good starting place, albeit with some biases, for learning about women’s rights! with pictures!
Margaret
Nov 13, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a fascinating and broad history of women's rights in graphic format. There are lots of women I need to learn more about, and I think this is a great jumping off point for learning more about global women's rights. This is intersectional as well, and includes women of color, disabled women's rights, and LGBTQ+ rights. ...more
Gina
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The frustrating thing about the book is that it goes so quickly, just skimming the surface of so many interesting stories. Given the thousands of years involved and the global focus, that would be inevitable. This is the first comic book I have seen with an index, and that is absolutely something that it should have.

There are plenty of options for more research, and this can be a jumping off point for further personal reading. I could also see it working well as part of the curriculum for a coll
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CoCoBug
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-graphic-novel
This was quick to get through and while there is a lot of text, it seemed easier to read and was to the point. It took me awhile to figure out that it was a virtual AI instructor, but the layout is a class of diverse teens getting a women’s rights history lesson from an AI instructor (at first I thought she was from the future or something, since she was purple. I don’t know why that made think that).

I liked the one page spread for each time period/area of the world’s feminine history recap. I
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Theresa
The subtitle of this book is "a graphic history of women's fight for their rights," which is an apt description. But it's much more than that. The authors include information about women that most of us have never heard of. I taught Women's Studies for over thirty years and I still found new information. They begin with powerful women in ancient history and bring us through the ages to the present. More importantly this book is multicultural and global. The illustrations are terrific and though ...more
David
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.75

This book was so informative! I have always thought myself fairly well versed in women's rights, but this wonderful collection made me realize how much more I truly need to learn. This book makes me appreciate all the generations of women who have fought fearlessly and tirelessly for equality and so many other important issues. I am just in absolute awe of all the amazing women across the globe and throughout time that have had such a massive impact. Yet, there is still so much to do and I a
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Jamie Dacyczyn
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A pretty good look at the history of women's rights, with special attention paid to women of color, women with disabilities, queer women, and transwomen. I appreciate that problematic outdated views (like being pro-eugenics or racist) from some iconic figures weren't smoothed over, but openly acknowledged.

My only quibbles are that occasionally the transition from one woman to the next didn't always flow smoothly, there were occasional references to things in the background that I wish were expla
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Inda
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the chance to read this yesterday, and first of all I must say I love primers. This one goes over the good and bad of women's rights history in all its complications but does so in an accessible format and even makes it fun. I love that it has a reach for a wide range of ages but does not sacrifice nuance in any way. Even if you know most of all of the women mentioned in the series, it's still a good way to put them into context for the various ways women have had to fight for equal rights ...more
Angela
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is beautiful and a wonderful telling of so much women’s history. I really appreciated how many incredible women were profiled and that the book did not shy away from intersectional issues with women’s movements. I was disappointed at the glaring lack of latinx women (with a couple of exceptions) included and the history associated with Latinx women in the US. I know it’s not possible to include everyone but this was a huge and sad omission.
Tiffany
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of this book somewhat chaotic. So many women are introduced, and I was left wanting to know more. It was almost too much information for one volume.

Or maybe I just had different expectations. I loved the book "Brazen" so I was hoping to find similar amounts of information here.

Nonetheless, this is one to add to my classroom library.
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amelia
Feb 08, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5/5
Cool in theory, but the execution was mediocre.
Jane
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A history of the women who fought for so many different rights.
A snapshot of these women's achievements is what this book delivers.
What I especially loved was that the women were not shown as perfect. I went to a public school that taught about Susan B. Anthony but never mentioned her racist ideas.
This book shows the continuing fight for equal rights and protections that is still going on. Loved every page of this book. The art is amazing and jointly tells the story.
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Amanda
Mar 11, 2022 rated it it was ok
Giving this 2 stars feels like a crime against women, but getting through this was rough. The artwork is stellar, but the presentation is painfully busy. I would have liked to focus more intently on a smaller number of women to really appreciate their stories, rather than mindlessly trudge through names and dates.

I swear this isn't internalized misogyny talking—it's probably the undiagnosed adhd.
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