Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Who Cooked the Last Supper?: The Women's History of the World” as Want to Read:
Who Cooked the Last Supper?: The Women's History of the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Who Cooked the Last Supper?: The Women's History of the World

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,026 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
Men dominate history because they write it. Women’s vital part in the shaping of the world has been consistently undervalued or ignored. Rosalind Miles now offers a fundamental reappraisal that sets the record straight. Stunning in its scope and originality, The Women’s History of the World challenges all previous world histories and shatters cherished illusions on every p ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 10th 2001 by Broadway Books (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Who Cooked the Last Supper?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Who Cooked the Last Supper?

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Overall, this book was full of interesting information, stories & facts. Unfortunately, the interesting bits could have been strung together much more artfully, and with a more nuanced perspective on race and colonialism.

I couldn't help but notice that this women's history was primarily a history of white women, though Miles never explicitly says this. Women of color are discussed throughout, but predominantly as an afterthought. This is most noticeable when Miles discusses what it was like
Amanda Patterson
Every girl, and every boy, should have to read this as a textbook at school. Women have changed the world. Someone's just forgotten to write it down.This is one of my top 3 books of all time. It is entertaining, horrifying, unbelievable and well-researched. Women need to take back the power that patriarchal society and religion has taken from them. Miles does not flinch as she unravels a history that too few know about.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to El by: The F-word
No, really, who did cook the Last Supper?

Okay, spoiler-alert. You don't actually find out who cooked the Last Supper. Bummer, I know. But that's not really the point. The point is that women have been a part of the historical landscape across the world for-freaking-ever, and no one really thinks about it that much because, well, they're not really portrayed that often in the Bible as any central characters - they're just slaves and whores and shit. And so often the history books (written by a bu
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think those who have claimed this book as biased are missing the forest for the trees. Of course it's biased. It's called "The Women's History of the World." Most accounts of history are biased in some form or another.

This book is mild in its bias; I've read other books that are far more scathing of the opposition.

That said, this was refreshing in its unforgiving nature. It's made me look at all accounts of history with a sharper eye.

For example, just last night, after finishing this book,
Book-Bosomed  blog
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’m going to tackle this one a little differently, but hopefully this format will be most helpful...

4.5 Stars

Who should read this book? (view spoiler) If you're still not convinced, it's Women's History Month so take a chance.

Genre: Non-fiction/World History/ Women’s History/Gender Studies

What does this book cover? This book is organized into 4 sections with 3 chapters each.

Part one (“In the Be
Dec 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Already in the introduction, there are some ridiculous passages about how, unlike women, male black slaves weren't raped (sis...), and neither were men during the Bosnian genocide (have I got news for YOU).

She engages in some oppression Olympics ("the Taliban laws for women were worse than the Nazi laws for Jews!").

And weirdly dismisses the achievements of Jacqueline Onassis and Lady Di as "famous only through the men they married, and not for any talent of their own" (direct quote). Listen, I
2 stars

An outdated, white-feminist history of the world heavy influenced by the author's belief in a bullshit, disproved, mythology of of a prehistoric matriarchal utopia. Gets more interesting (but also more western-focused) as it reaches the more modern sections dealing with women's suffrage and contraceptive rights.

There is a lot of bad history here, a number of factual mistakes, cultural ignorance, and a lack of intersectinslity. BUT, I do appreciate that this was written back in 1988 (makin
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Women especially and those men brave enough to read it!!
I have always believed in equal rights/opportunites for everyone, regardless of race or gender, but I have never been a raging feminist. I felt like one when reading this book!! It made me so proud to be a woman, so appreciative of those that came and fought before me... It was nice to see what all (in a nutshell) women have contributed to mankind's society and culture.
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had one reservation about the book that stopped me from giving it the five stars that it deserves. In the chapter about religion as a form of oppression against women, the author had taken quotes and stories from Islam out of context, and without any evidence, using it to prove her point. As a Muslim, I can only speak about Islam, however it seemed that author was blatantly against any form of religion and made it her mission to talk about how it oppressed women. I became skeptical of most of ...more
Toria Burrell-Hrencecin
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This spoke to me more than I expected it would. It revealed alot of fascinating history that I knew very little about. It also profoundly influenced and solidified my views of religion. It's the sort of thought provoking book that I wish everyone would read, especially intelligent women.
Surprisingly, it does not contradict the philosophy of Ayn Rand (whose writing I discovered at the same time as reading this book). Infact it compliments it. Rosalind Miles is a "feminist" but so was Ayn Rand (i
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down the most entertaining and illuminating book I've read on women's history. I have gone back to it often & highly recommend it. Read it with a highlighter in hand if you are a history buff, you will find many women's lives vibrantly outlined here and you'll want to explore some in more detail. A far reaching view of human history from women's perspective. Miles' generous humour is peppered throughout making this a fun read - and so a terrific book for the young feminists (of any gen ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let me start by quoting Rosalind Miles:
"Yet some would say, why women's history at all? Surely men and women have always shared a world, and suffered together all its rights and wrongs? It is a common belief that whatever the situation, both sexes faced it alike. But the male peasant, however cruelly oppressed, always had the right to beat his wife. The black slave had to labor for the white master by day, but he did not have to service him by night as well. This grim pattern continues to this
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Nonfiction history, from ancient to modern times, as it relates to women’s place in history. Spans the gamut from religious to political history, and this book is difficult to read without getting quite angry at times, me being a woman and all, and a majority of the book being about how women have been second-class citizens since, as the author wryly puts it, ‘the rise of the phallus.’ Viewed as simply man’s property for much of recorded history, women have had to fight tooth and nail for basic ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Great breakdown of the history of women from a woman's perspective. A great reminder to take historical texts with the grain of salt of their predominately patriarchal bias! But the biases within Miles' work are also clear and sometimes glaring; she is a British white woman and the text illuminates that. Especially in the later chapters, the focus is mostly on white women with women of color as an after thought, or very generalized. The anti-religious bias (particularly anti-Muslim bias) is glar ...more
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Cannot recommend this book enough! STRONGLY RECOMMEND. It will be required reading for my daughters once they are older. Is it always easy to read? Nope. Saw a review that was less than favorable, claiming it was depressing, and Ms. Miles detailing of FGM made them want to get sick. To that I say- "I'd hope so."

It is 2014 and it is too late in the history of the world to close our eyes to the very real atrocities that continue to go on. FGM, gender selective abortions, female infanticide, domes
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was a good book my wife recommended I read. It could easily be several volumes were it not just an introduction to the history of women, but it was worthwhile read. Unsurprisingly, there is a huge amount of oppression, misogyny, and dominion in this history, the parts about genital mutilation and other forms of torture were very graphic and horrific. There seemed to be no end of justifications why women shouldn't have rights that were first enforced through religion, and then sham 'science,' ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
First and foremost: any book that says it's the women's history of the world should be a hell of a lot bigger than this.

Second, I really wanted to like this book. This is exactly the sort of book I want: the glimpses of women in between what men have told us about history. However, the language, the assumptions, the complete binary thinking used here made it horrible for me. There were tons of interesting tidbits, but I'd rather have one of those little fact books than sift through this for the
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Miles undertakes a worthy and epic project, but unfortunately is not up to the task. As history, it's a mess. In her defense, some of the data on early "matriarchies" has only come to light since the book was originally published. However, Miles quotes Merlin Stone and Robert Graves to demonstrate history! She truly believes chastity belts were used in the middle ages. This is some very lazy fact checking or willful ignorance. The book uses a parallelism approach that hasn't been in vogue since ...more
Nov 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Incredibly infuriating. It was unfathomable how many emotions I went through reading this. There is quite a flurry of information to digest...but of course that's why it's called the Women's History of the World. I would certainly suggest this to any empowered female...and especially those that need empowering. Every female can benefit from a little rage now & then to remind them what they are capable of.

This book ctually kicked-off a reading frenzy one weekend. I devoured 4 books of compara
Ok, so I didn't finish it. The first bit, the prehistory bit, was like a bedtime story, and then it sort of bogged down for me in the "everything has sucked for women for the past few thousand years" part, mostly because I feel pretty confident that I have a general idea of how huge of a bummer they have been. I appreciate the work she did, but I probably won't come back to the really bummer chapters.
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tour de force of a generally bleak picture. Even amongst slaves, guess who gets the worst of it. However, there are a few errors of fact here. Just minor things like dates, which could be typos, but they could do with tidying up as the detractors will no doubt use them to criticise this thesis.
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. I think it is important for all women to get a taste of the female view on history. Each chapter was well written and interesting. I have bought several copies for Christmas presents. I did truly enjoy this, and would recommend it.
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Do I really need to explain how much I loved this book? Of course, one should always be aware of an author's possible bias and agenda (as well as one's own) when reading something like this, but Rosalind Miles has pretty good credentials and it's a fascinating read. Two thumbs up!
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forse un po' estremo, offre buoni spunti di riflessione sul nostro passato ma soprattutto su come vorremmo il nostro futuro.
I consider myself a proud feminist, but even I found this book, while interesting, to be a little too angry for my liking.
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great read. Every female should read it.
侯 二六
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, sold







Sometimes a book comes along that you realize you have spent your entire life waiting for. This book felt like the answer to a question I didn't even know I was asking.

We've all heard that old adage: history is written by the victors. What I think few of us realize, for most of our lives, though, is that the "victors," for most of history, have been men, and the story they have told is the story they wanted told: partial, exclusive, narrow, one-sided. We all realize that history is subjective an
Anita Fajita Pita
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anita by: The F-Word
Shelves: 2016, educate-myshelf
This was an amazing history of civilization with the focus on women. It just went through civilization and the spread of humankind across the globe and instead of assuming everyone is male, it focused on adding women into the picture. Unfortunately, our own history is so focused on men that to do this, Miles had to add women to man's history. So even a Women's Studies history book on women has a more equal distribution to the sexes than a "normal" history book taught in schools. I'm not talking ...more
Mar 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
Okay, let's get it out of the way right now, I am NOT a mysoginist. That said, I hated this book. I had to read this for history class. I would never have read this book for any other reason. I like history. It is very interesting. However, the creativity with which the author writes could be likened to that of a statement-reason proof. As the chapters blur, the writing takes on a formulaic edge: men are evil when, women did this how, they were oppressed again like this, and so on. I sincerely r ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • A Brief History of Misogyny: The World's Oldest Prejudice
  • In Paul Klee's Enchanted Garden
  • Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times
  • The Boundaries of Her Body: A Shocking History of Women's Rights in America
  • A History of the Wife
  • Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time
  • The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory
  • Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money
  • Uppity Women of Medieval Times
  • The Weaker Vessel
  • The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service
  • Women of the Raj
  • Bluestockings: The Remarkable Story of the First Women to Fight for an Education
  • Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity
  • For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts' Advice to Women
  • Here Comes the Bride: Women, Weddings, and the Marriage Mystique
  • Bachelor Girl: The Secret History of Single Women in the Twentieth Century
  • The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy
Rosalind Miles is an author born and raised in England and now living in both Los Angeles and Kent, England. She has written both works of fiction and non-fiction. As a child, Miles suffered from polio, and had to undergo several months of treatment. After being accepted to a junior women's college, Miles acquired a working knowledge of Latin and Greek, along with developing her life-long love of ...more
More about Rosalind Miles...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
    $8.24 $1.99
  • A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
    $27.00 $2.99
  • Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Room of One's Own
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Life in a Medieval City
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Weekends at Bellevue: Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych E.R.
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan
    $8.99 $1.99
  • My Life on the Road
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing A Child Called "It"
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Drinking: A Love Story
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light Between Us: Stories from Heaven, Lessons for the Living
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
    $13.99 $2.99
  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Immortal Irishman: Thomas Meager and the Invention of Irish America
    $15.99 $2.99
  • Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Christianity
    $9.74 $1.99
  • The Federalist Papers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
    $7.24 $1.99
“Yet some would say, why women's history at all? Surely men and
women have always shared a world, and suffered together all its rights
and wrongs? It is a common belief that whatever the situation, both
sexes faced it alike. But the male peasant, however cruelly oppressed,
always had the right to beat his wife. The black slave had to labor for
the white master by day, but he did not have to service him by night as well. This grim pattern continues to this day, with women bearing an extra ration of pain and misery whatever the circumstances, as the
sufferings of the women of war-torn Eastern Europe will testify. While
their men fought and died, wholesale and systematic rape—often
accompanied by the same torture and death that the men suffered—
was a fate only women had to endure. Women's history springs from
moments of recognition such as this, and the awareness of the difference is still very new. Only in our time have historians begun to look at the historical experience of men and women separately, and to
acknowledge that for most of our human past, women's interests have been opposed to those of men. Women's interests have been opposed by them, too: men have not willingly extended to women the rights and freedoms they have claimed for themselves. As a result, historical advances have tended to be "men only" affairs. When history concentrates solely on one half of the human race, any alternative truth or reality is lost. Men dominate history because they write it, and their accounts of active, brave, clever or aggressive females constantly tend to sentimentalize, to mythologize or to pull women back to some perceived "norm." As a result, much of the so-called historical record is
simply untrue.”
“Every revolution is a revolution of ideas-yet to innovate is not reform.” 1 likes
More quotes…