Women Warriors: An Unexpected History

Women Warriors: An Unexpected History Review

Who says women don't go to war? From Vikings and African queens to cross-dressing military doctors and WWII Russian fighter pilots, these are the stories of women for whom battle was not a metaphor.

The woman warrior is always cast as an anomaly--Joan of Arc, not G.I. Jane. But women, it turns out, have always gone to war. In this fascinating, lively, and wide-ranging book, historian Pamela Toler draws from a lifetime of scouring books for mentions of women warriors to tell their stories and to consider why women go to war.

Tomyris, ruler of the hard-riding Massagetae, and her warriors killed Cyrus the Great of Persia when he sought to invade her lands. She herself hacked off his head in revenge for the death of her son. The West African ruler Amina of Hausa, a contemporary of Elizabeth I, led her fierce warriors in a campaign of territorial expansion for more than thirty years. Like Elizabeth, she refused to marry; unlike Elizabeth, she never claimed to be a Virgin Queen. Contemporary accounts of medieval sieges in Europe describe women using firearms, participating in night raids, joining in the defense of breaches in the walls, and fighting hand-to-hand at the improvised barricades that often provided a last line of defense. Among the examples of female samurai in Japan are the Joshigun, a group of thirty seriously combat-trained women who fought against the forces of the Meiji emperor in the late 19th century.

These are the stories of those who commanded from the rear and those who fought in the front lines, those who fought because they wanted to, because they had to, or because they could. Considering the ways in which their presence has been erased from history, Toler concludes that women have always fought: not in spite of being women but because they are women.

Title:Women Warriors: An Unexpected History

Enjoy the book review !

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Amalia Gavea

    In the Introduction, the writer refers to Joan of Arc, Jeanne Hachette and Lakshmi Bai and then moves on to...Wonder Woman and a thing called ''Black Panther'' which I know nothing about, sorry. To to...

  • Melisende d'Outremer

    The author states her intent is to bring women warriors out of the historical shadows; to consider the reasons that they have taken up arms and how those reasons related to their roles; and the conseq...

  • Chris

    Disclaimer: I won a copy via a giveaway on Librarything. My brother reads quite a bit of John Keegan. I’m not entirely sure if he has read every book Keegan wrote, but it must be close. Every so oft...

  • Jane

    Fascinating peek into the world of women as warriors. Global, covering millennia of human history. The author spent years gathering this information, with copious footnotes, notes, and bibliography. T...

  • Mimi

    Interesting primer on female warriors throughout history, with a nice balance time- and location-wise.If you already read up on the subject, you can pretty much skip this one, I already knew about mos...

  • Carol Kean

    Woman as Warrior may seem like an oxymoron, but women have a long history of fighting and taking lives. In the old world view, “It is no more possible for a mother to kill than for a warrior to give...

  • Matt

    I received this book via LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest reviewThe phrase warrior women evokes many images, most with “boob” armor as a prominent feature however hi...

  • Devann

    I received an ARC copy of this book from EdelweissThis was a very interesting read although I did find it to be a little bit dense in places. If you are going into this expecting it to be like many of...

  • Jill Meyer

    Do you look at the military in the United States and think about how many women are within the ranks? The fighters who patrol the areas at war and that new Seal Team recruit.? Are women fighting a new...

  • Sara

    On the second page of chapter One, I laughed aloud for the first time, and began to entertain and annoy my family by reading bits to them. It is that kind of book. One crazy colorful story after anoth...