Profiles of modern women who stood up, sat down, defied powers that be, worked or are working for peace, or otherwise merit consideration as role models.
The authors open with a poorly reasoned and written introduction positing that the book’s title is accurate because “fearless” means the same thing as “courageous” and declaring that their selected figures “heralded from the four corners of the world.” Following this, single-page profiles arranged in no readily apparent order present the achievements of 36 notable women beginning with Rosa Parks, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Malala Yousafzai. Some of the choices are fixtures in the feminist firmament, but there are others who are not universally beloved (Margaret Thatcher, Winnie Mandela). Many will likely be new to the target audience, such as Brazilian graffiti artist and social activist Panmela Castro, for instance, or Indian warrior queen Lakshmibai (listed, rather insensitively considering the context, not under her name but as Maharani of Jhansi, which translates “Maharaja’s widow”). The large portrait photos opposite each entry have been colorized or otherwise processed into a paint-by-numbers look. A few more women get brief mention at the end, but there are no source notes or leads to further information. Companion volume Unsung Heroes highlights both male and female luminaries, most of whom (Henrietta Lacks, Omkar Nath Sharma, Harvey Milk, for instance) will be unfamiliar to the audience.
Valuable for nods to some lesser-known luminaries but clumsy to a fault. (index) (Collective biography. 10-13)