Celebrate Women’s History Month with PUP

March is Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month pays tribute and celebrates the struggles, contributions, and achievements of American women throughout the history of the United States. This year, join Princeton University Press in celebrating all women — both past and present, near and far. This year, we’ve compiled a reading list with some of our best books on women. Grab a book and get reading!

herrinPoets in the Public Sphere: The Emancipatory Project of American Women’s Poetry, 1800-1900
Paula Bernat Bennett
Read the Introduction.
Based entirely on archival research, this book traces the emergence of the “New Woman” by examining poetry published by American women in newspapers and magazines between 1800 and 1900.

Odd Couples: Extraordinary Differences between the Sexes in the Animal Kingdom
Daphne J. Fairbairn
Looking at some of the most amazing creatures on the planet, this book sheds astonishing light on what it means to be male or female in the animal kingdom. Fairbairn also considers humans and compares our own sexual differences against the vast divisions between the sexes in the animal world.

sontagUnrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium
Judith Herrin
Read the Introduction.
This book explores the exceptional roles that women played in the vibrant cultural and political life of medieval Byzantium. Written by one of the world’s foremost historians of the Byzantine millennium, this landmark book evokes the complex and exotic world of Byzantium’s women, from empresses and saints to uneducated rural widows.

Making Silence Speak: Women’s Voices in Greek Literature and Society
Edited by André Lardinois & Laura McClure
Check out Chapter 1.
This collection attempts to recover the voices of women in antiquity from a variety of perspectives: how they spoke, where they could be heard, and how their speech was adopted in literature and public discourse.

pietyNotes on Sontag
Phillip Lopate
Read the Introduction
From our Writers on Writers series, Lopate shows how Sontag raised the bar of critical discourse and offered up a model of a freethinking, imaginative, and sensual woman. Honest yet sympathetic, Lopate’s engaging evaluation reveals a Sontag who was both an original and very much a person of her time.

Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject
Saba Mahmood
Check out Chapter 1.
This work is a groundbreaking analysis of Islamist cultural politics through the ethnography of a thriving, grassroots women’s piety movement in the mosques of Cairo, Egypt. This is essential reading for anyone interested in issues at the nexus of ethics and politics, embodiment and gender, and liberalism and post-colonialism.

marcusBetween Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England
Sharon Marcus
Read the Introduction.
Deeply researched, powerfully argued, and filled with original readings of familiar and surprising sources, this book overturns everything we thought we knew about Victorian women and the history of marriage and family life. It offers a new paradigm for theorizing gender and sexuality–not just in the Victorian period, but in our own.

Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right
Michelle M. Nickerson
Read the Introduction.
This book tells the story of 1950s southern Californian housewives who shaped the grassroots right in the two decades following World War II. Nickerson describes how red-hunting homemakers mobilized activist networks, institutions, and political consciousness in local education battles, and she introduces a generation of women who developed political styles and practices around their domestic routines.

okinWomen in Western Political Thought
Susan Moller Okin, With a new introduction by Debra Satz
In this pathbreaking study of the works of Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and Mill, Susan Moller Okin turns to the tradition of political philosophy that pervades Western culture and its institutions to understand why the gap between formal and real gender equality persists.

Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women’s Movement
Leila J. Rupp
This is a groundbreaking exploration of the “first wave” of the international women’s movement, from its late nineteenth-century origins through the Second World War. Making extensive use of archives in the United States, England, the Netherlands, Germany, and France, Rupp examines the histories and accomplishments of three major transnational women’s organizations to tell the story of women’s struggle to construct a feminist international collective identity.


  1. Fantastic Books! I definitely love to read books about women. Books of those stuff surely encourages me to move forward in my life. I’m hoping I could also have a copy of those books. Thank you for this information. Happy Women’s History Month!