Margaret Truman revisits some landmark heroines--defiant Dolley Madison, first-woman-doctor Elizabeth Blackwell, battling Susan B. Anthony, ""voice of a people"" Marian Anderson, voice-of-conscience Margaret Chase Smith--as well as others well known (as virtually all are) to readers of juvenile biography: Prudence Crandall, spumed for educating Negro women; Ida Wells-Barnett, vocal black opponent of lynching; newly revered radical Mother Jones. The accounts of early bravery-under-fire are lame and sometimes foolish (Dolley Madison's ""dramatic rescue of George Washington's portrait,"" however admirable, did not turn the tide of war) and few of those based on secondary sources are more than stock inspirational treatments invested with some Truman bluntness and shrewdness (and, not unbecomingly, with references to what ""Dad"" would have thought). But the report of Margaret Chase Smith's lone Senate stand against McCarthy benefits from special insight and attention-holding detail, and the concluding chapter on Dr. Frances Kelsey's fourteen-month fight to prevent premature licensing of thalidomide is first-rate--precise, crisp, and pointed. These plain-spun tributes are a world away from revolutionary feminism, of course, but so are lots of people. Dad would have approved, and the Carter women should too.