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NORMAL WOMEN

NINE HUNDRED YEARS OF MAKING HISTORY

A highly instructive, exhaustive study that reveals the realities behind “ideal” or “inferior” designations of women.

The bestselling, prolific historical novelist presents “a huge book about women.”

Gregory brings her extensive knowledge of women in society over the centuries to a vast sociological study of the lives of “regular” women throughout the past 900 years. A tour de force of research, the book chronicles the role of women in British society by era, starting with William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book, commissioned in 1086, up until 1994. In each period, the author presents sections on women’s health, marriage, work, crime, punishment, immigration, rape, and “women loving women.” The overall sense reading this dense social history is that “normal” women, in spite of men’s belittling characterizations, made indelible contributions to the British Empire while rarely reaping the benefits. The author keenly delineates the different lives of women by class, such as the arduous life of working women versus aristocratic women, who, though rich in material possessions, were still affected by inadequate diet, constrictive clothing, poor ventilation, and mental strain from severe societal oppression. A familiar, depressing refrain over the centuries is the meager material compensation for women’s work and their deliberate exclusion from “profitable work, from education, from training, from the guilds and trades, and from the professions and from authority.” Particularly enlightening is Gregory’s exploration of Victorian society, from mining strikes, to campaigns for women’s suffrage, to the outrageous hypocrisy of Queen Victoria serving as both a steely emperor and docile wife opposed to women’s rights. Gregory also examines “Sapphism,” “Female Husbands,” and other similar topics suggesting that sexual transitioning was more frequent to women seeking greater roles and autonomy in society than previously regarded by historians. The author concludes in 1994, when the Church of England finally ordained women as priests.

A highly instructive, exhaustive study that reveals the realities behind “ideal” or “inferior” designations of women.

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2024

ISBN: 9780063304321

Page Count: 688

Publisher: HarperOne

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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