Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World (Women in History Book, Book of Women Who Changed the World)

by Ann Shen

Hardcover, 2016





Chronicle Books (2016), Edition: 1, 216 pages


"Bad Girls Throughout History features some of the fiercest women of all time - the famous, the infamous, and the ones you haven't even heard of yet. Explore the notable works, impressive feats, and striking portraits of these wild women from around the globe who challenged the status quo"--

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½ (49 ratings; 3.8)

User reviews

LibraryThing member shazzerwise
Entertaining and light, this is a good introduction to some of history's lesser known badass females. As with any list, regardless of length, there are some names I wish I could have seen (Aung San Suu Kyi), and some I could have done without, but overall, it was a good selection. Lovely
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illustrations round this out.
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LibraryThing member lostinthebb
I received a copy of ‘Bad Girls Throughout History:100 Remarkable Women Who Changed The World’ by Ann Shen as part of the Librarything Early reviewers program. I was familiar with the earliest women in the book– Lilith and Tomyris- and most of the later ones, although there were often facts I
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didn’t know. There were so many fascinating women from historical periods and cultures I hadn’t read about I ended up making a list of the many women I want to read more about. The bibliography cites sources for each subject, which makes it easier to do some follow-up reading.
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LibraryThing member MillieHennessy
This is a lovely book showcasing several famous women throughout history and their exploits. Illustrated by Shen, we get a beautiful portrait of each woman and a few paragraphs about her life and contributions to our lives through science, art, politics, music, etc. I've heard of most of the women
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in this book, though there were a few I hadn't. I also learned little facts I'd never known about the women I did recognize, like how Dr. Ruth trained with snipers and how Hedy Lamarr helped to invent the technology that would become wi-fi. The illustrations are lovely and this was a fun book to flip through.
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LibraryThing member sweeks1980
In the past few years, there has been a most welcome influx of books highlighting the contributions women to society and culture. From science to history to culture, works like “Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World” and “Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes,
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Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History” serve as an important reminder of the too-often ignored ways that women have had an impact on the world. A recent addition to this growing collection is “Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World” by Ann Shen, a beautifully illustrated look at different women who have influenced the world in a variety of ways. Starting with Lilith, the first wife of Adam, and moving chronologically to the present with Malala Yousafzai, the book provides a two-page spread on each woman included. One page features a brief overview of the woman’s life and accomplishments, and the facing page features a full-color illustration by Shen. The result is a light, enjoyable, and gorgeous book.

As indicated by the book’s layout and focus, there isn’t a lot of depth regarding the attention each subject receives. For curious readers who want to learn more, Shen includes a helpful bibliography at the end of the book, which provides further reading on the different women. The approachable and succinct nature makes “Bad Girls Throughout History” a great book to read in pieces and to skip around in.

The 100 women Shen opts to focus on are all intriguing, and they encompass a variety of fields and accomplishments. These range from fashion (Diana Vreeland and Edith Head) to entertainment (Gypsy Rose Lee and Alice Guy-Blache) to science (Marie Curie and Sally Ride). The downside of constraining the book to 100 (or any specific number) of women is that this inevitably leaves some people out, and if I had to identify a drawback with “Bad Girls Throughout History,” it is that it tends to feature women primarily from western culture. On one hand, it is understandable that Shen decided to feature many women who are well known, such as Beatrix Potter and Madonna. On the other, it would have been nice to have some more representation from different countries and cultures, particularly in the second half of book. That said, I did appreciate the diversity in the first part of the book, which includes Tomyris from Iran and Empress Wu Zeitan from China. Furthermore, Shen does a nice job spotlighting some women from more recent times who might be under people’s radar, such as Christine Jorgensen, the first American trans woman, and Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space.

In short, Shen’s work helps bring to life Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s assertion that “well-behaved women seldom make history,” and it would be a worthy addition to any library, particularly for people who are curious about women’s contributions but aren’t certain where to get started or those who want to provide a primer on the subject.
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LibraryThing member jugglingpaynes
Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen is a collection of short biographies on 100 women from biblical times to present day. For each woman, the book devotes a two-page spread for a short biography and a full page portrait painting. The paintings are lively and colorful. The biographies offer a
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very basic outline of each woman's life, but there is a bibliography at the end if you want to research any of them further. Many are well known, but there were also many that I either did not know or only knew the names of. It is the kind of book you can pick up and turn to any random page and learn about a strong woman and her significance in history. It does make me wish some of the biographies were a bit longer, but it is a good starting point for anyone who wants to learn about them.
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LibraryThing member brittanygates
I was already a big fan of Ann Shen's artwork, so I'm super excited to have this book! The illustrations are gorgeous and are paired with a brief synopsis of each woman's life and how she impacted the world.

I can't wait until my niece is a little older so I can share this book with her. A must read
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for anyone who's helping to raise a strong generation of girls.
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LibraryThing member mabith
This book ended up being a bit of a let down when compared to some other similar books and blogs I've followed. It's aimed at a younger audience, but I felt Shen neglects to point out why most of these women were considered "bad" (in terms of going against societal norms, etc...). For a more
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informed audience that's okay, but the younger set need those reminders given how much society has changed. Dolly Parton is an example that stands out, her breaking away from Porter Wagoner to go solo was seen very negatively (ungrateful, too ambitious, etc..) in country music circles at the time but there's no elaboration there (and it's a very short, basic entry which leaves out some great information).

The women are largely the expected subjects, which is okay for the younger set but makes the book less useful overall. The book is organized by date of birth, and even with only 100 subjects I do wish there were an alphabetized index (would be great to have a subject index as well). With Shen's art sometimes I loved it and sometimes it just felt rushed. Her habit of getting the light-skinned women just an outline of color with a flat white face really negatively impacted the art, in my opinion.

It's fine for what it is, and probably a good book to have in any household with young girls just as an initial reference. It's not a book I'd give as a gift to anyone over age 12 though, there's just not enough body here.
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LibraryThing member LauraBrook
A lovely book filled with sumptuous watercolor illustrations and a little bit of information on each "bad girl" to be tempting. It's enough info to either whet your appetite and research more into the lady, or leave her as she is to be rediscovered at a later date. I thoroughly enjoyed this book,
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and I gave a copy to a friend for Christmas. She's got two young girls that will appreciate looking through this.
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LibraryThing member seasonsoflove
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book, or my review itself.

First of all, the illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous. I was captivated by the visual portraits right from the start.

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mini-biographies about each woman are great as well. There were a lot of famous women I had already heard of, but quite a few I knew very little about. With some of the bios I wanted more, but in this case I think that's a good thing. This book has inspired me to go out and learn more about these women and their incredible lives.
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LibraryThing member mamakats
A bit repetitive of other anthologies, but fun nonetheless
LibraryThing member LisCarey
This is a great little collection of short, one- or two-page bios of "bad girls," women who did what they needed to do rather than what they were expected to do. There are warrior queens and pirate queens, actors and writers, inventors, actors who became inventors, politicians, doctors, nurses,
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notorious criminals, and spies. It's light, lively, with fun, colorful art showing the women described.

It is, sadly, quite oversimplified, probably inevitable given the limited space. We don't know if the story of Cleopatra and the asp is true. Major events in Eva Peron's career are dropped out entirely. And in some places, it's just completely, inexcusably, unnecessarily wrong. The Constitution under which George Washington and then John Adams became President was not even adopted until years after the Revolution. So, no, while John and Abigail Adams were the first Presidential couple to live in the Presidential Mansion in Washington, they didn't live there during the Revolution. Exactly zero thought had been given to a possible future capital for the new United States of America during the war, when the working capital was Philadelphia. Now, Abigail was John's full partner and a vital part of his career, but muddling the history like that just subtracts from the whole. There are other factual errors like that, and you will likely have your own "favorites."

That said, though, this is interesting, entertaining, and really doesn't pretend to be anything other than a brief introduction to the women. They're all potentially fascinating, and this is a great starting point if you're looking for a direction to go off in for further reading about trouble-making women in history.

I got this from Kindle Unlimited.
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LibraryThing member quondame
A list of 100 women, 80% from the 19th and 20th century, heavily weighted toward show business and media. That's the value. For facts you'll get more and probably more accurate from Wikipedia. The illustrations are less interesting and less accurate portraits than the average tourist caricaturist
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hack would produce.
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LibraryThing member LynnB
All in all, I am disappointed in this book. The 100 women presented were interesting, and with short vignettes about each, the book is a quick and accessible overview that points the way to learning more about any of them. What bothered me was that so many of the women portrayed were from Hollywood
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and the American music industry. While we had some scientists and activists, the book seemed to portray women as having major influence primarily in pop culture.

And what really bothered me were the illustrations! Everyone was nicely coifed with makeup and big, BIG eyelashes. Real women don't look like that! And if you are writing about women's contributions to history, you shouldn't make nearly all of them all look like the stereotype of beautiful.
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LibraryThing member BarnesBookshelf
I really enjoyed the book. Each section is like a little taste test of important historical female figures. I learned a lot of things I didn't know about some women I did know about in addition to learning about women I didn't know about. I wish there had been a little more diversity, but I
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understand that it's difficult to cover important female figures from the entirety of history in a list of only 100 women.
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Physical description

9.25 inches


1452153930 / 9781452153933
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