Women are incredible. You can have a ‘Top 1,000’ influential women’ and not be anywhere close to including all of them. Pier9′s <i>Women who Changed the World: Fifty Inspirational Women Who Shaped HIstory </i>is one of the myriad of books encourages awareness of brilliant women. Even though I was questioning a few of the inclusions in this book, it was still a solid foundation for readers. If you have limited knowledge on people like Rosa Parks and Marie Curie, this is a great book for you.
The range of women is reasonable. This comes in the form of women of colour such as Mary Seacole and Benazir Bhutto, but also in their occupations. Politicians, fashion designers, entertainers, activists, scientists and athletes are included with equal respect so I’m sure you will find a few that you find interesting.
The layout was formulaic, which can be boring for many people, but I enjoyed it. It made each reading feel like a ritual and if I didn’t care about the individual, I knew which parts to skip. Even if you didn’t want the three page explanation, a simple glance at the introduction page will give you a solid understanding of the woman.
As each woman is given three pages (timeline included), you won’t get as much information as you would of you read a biography. However, a lot of their life is introduced. Sometimes the negative aspects are included, which is very important as it makes the book feel like more than just a shrine to the women.
As there are so many great women in history, the way the book was presented was informative but predictable. However, they were smart by admitting the issue at the introduction where they stated ‘we hope the choices made by our researches will prompt thought and discussion’. So, who do you think is constantly snubbed from influential women lists