An overview of women's education in the western world makes a short book. Never popular, formal education for girls and women is an idea whose time is only now creeping up. Historian Stock surveys theories (mostly anti-woman) and practice (mostly nil) from ancient Greece to the present. It is a bleak story because ""in a society dominated by men,"" Stock argues, ""women's education is determined by men,"" and most men (and educational theorists) have considered women naturally inferior and beneath education. The few relatively well educated women were trained, like Renaissance court ladies, to be pleasant companions to men, or like Roman matrons, to be good mothers to their sons. Even today, Stock contends, women are welcome in universities only ""when the male clientele dwindles, as in war or depression."" Women fare best in ""ideologically egalitarian"" societies (the Soviet Union, other communist countries, France), but nowhere have women ever 'approached free and equal education. Nor do they seem likely to, according to this careful chronicle which is all the more grim--and somewhat dull--for being so matter of fact.