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Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World

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Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the pr Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.


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Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the pr Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.

30 review for Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gavea

    ‘’They span time, the globe, socioeconomic situations, sexual and gender identities, and races. They are queens, scientists, athletes, politicians, spies, warriors, peacemakers, criminals and scoundrels. They are trendsetters, barrier breakers, innovators, and rebels.’’ Outstanding, brilliantly beautiful work by Mackenzi Lee. I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved this book in which she presents 52 women who deserve to be much more famous than they are. Women from all over the world, wom ‘’They span time, the globe, socioeconomic situations, sexual and gender identities, and races. They are queens, scientists, athletes, politicians, spies, warriors, peacemakers, criminals and scoundrels. They are trendsetters, barrier breakers, innovators, and rebels.’’ Outstanding, brilliantly beautiful work by Mackenzi Lee. I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved this book in which she presents 52 women who deserve to be much more famous than they are. Women from all over the world, women of every race and social status that achieved miniscule things such as overthrowing dictators, curing diseases, resisting oppression, doubting and crushing every gender stereotypes of a male-dominated world. Lee writes in a comprehensive, direct and concise way, presenting the facts in engaging, fun language. The humorous tidbits are tasteful and delightful without becoming sarcastic or rude. Having in mind that a number of these glorious women’s lives are a mix of fact, fiction and hear-say, Lee’s task becomes even more demanding but sha passes the test with flying colours. She doesn’t build ‘’loud’’ pedestals but composes short, comprehensive biographies of women who vary from heroines, to leaders, to athletes, to criminals. Intelligent, dangerous, brave, alluring but, most importantly, fiercely determined to earn the right to live according to their rules, resisting and breaking the bars of patriarchy and prejudice. The 52 women are all marvelous, but here are my absolute favourites: Empress Xi Ling Shi, the woman who discovered sericulture and invented the silk loom, creating the legendary Silk Road that still continues to excite our imagination. She became a Chinese deity for her efforts. Not bad… Hatshepsut, the first female Pharaoh, who took the throne after her husband’s death- because she could- and ruled her people in prosperity for 22 years. Agnodice, the woman who disguised herlself as a man to practice medicine in Ancient Athens. And guess what? She succeeded in the end because Athenian women are made of wonders. Arawelo, a legendary queen of Somalia, who discarded every gender stereotype by creating a government consisting entirely of women. At the same time, she and her awesome cabinet showed the men what taking care of a household truly demands. Queen Christina of Sweden. Naturally, Sweden would have one of the coolest monarchs ever. Peacemaker, protector of the Arts, advocate of religious equality, hater of matrimony and all-around awesome person. No surprise really given her homeland. Mariya Oktyabrskaya, an extraordinary woman from Russia who blew the guts of many Nazi scums to pieces while inside her very own tank, aptly named Fighting Girlfriend. She took part in the Battle of Kursk, enough said. Irena Sendler, a Polish nurse who fought against religious discrimination from an early age and saved more than 2,500 Jewish children from the nightmare of the ghetto during WWII. Azucena Villaflor, an Argentinian mother, who organised the first demonstrations against the ‘’disappearances’’ ( the desaparecidos) of young people who were deemed ‘’rebels’’ by the military dictatorship of the country during the 70s. And we all know what it means to ‘’disappear’’ when fascists are in power, don’t we? Petra Eriksson has created 52 absolutely beautiful portraits of each woman,painted in bold colours in a style combining pop art and poster illustrations. Fabulous! Can you tell that I fell utterly in love with this book? I think you can and I urge you to read it, keep it in your collection as one of the jewels of your bookcase, a treasure of courage, empowerment and the fervent, everlasting fight and determination of women who succeeded on their own terms and became pioneers in their fields. My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    Though I was struggling a bit at the start of this book with the super casual language used for chronicling each historic woman, I realized (rather quickly, thankfully!) that the modern take on these badass broads is exactly what makes this read that more approachable and original. My issue with previous feminist collections always stemmed from the fact that they came to read like Wikipedia-esque entries and as a result failed to keep me engaged. Which is why I came to like the shorter biography Though I was struggling a bit at the start of this book with the super casual language used for chronicling each historic woman, I realized (rather quickly, thankfully!) that the modern take on these badass broads is exactly what makes this read that more approachable and original. My issue with previous feminist collections always stemmed from the fact that they came to read like Wikipedia-esque entries and as a result failed to keep me engaged. Which is why I came to like the shorter biography summaries, such as The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont & Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen. So Mackenzi Lee's intriguing take on these "badass patriarchy smashers" in Bygone Badass Broads helped keep them in mind long after I continued to the next entry. So here is a taste of some of the memorable Badass Broads squad members: • Queen Arawelo: C. 15 CE, Somalia The Queen of Gender Equality “Arawelo’s new decrees regarding gender roles and government appointments passed the Furiosa Test—meaning they got men’s rights activists riled up. When husbands across the land protested the shake-up, Arawelo and her massive populous of feminist badasses staged a kingdom-wide walkout, leaving their men with nothing but a note on the pillow: Roses are red, gender’s performative, your ideas about women are so hella normative.” The little poem there had me giggling out loud, which is the last thing I expected from a Nonfiction/History book. Having Lee succeed not only at educating us about the lesser-known women of our times but actually making it enjoyable while doing so is the biggest accomplishment, in my eyes. “It’s almost like the phrase “yaaaas kweeeen” was invented for her.” •  Khutulun: 1260–1306, Mongolia Wrestling Champion of the Ancient World This particular entry had me giddy with the many pop-culture references*. It's quite a feat on the author's part to connect present day to hundreds upon hundreds of years ago, so I will continually applaud her for that. *Phrases include: TBH, swaggery bro, and the timeless reference at the end of this passage: “When one particularly swaggery bro bet one thousand horses he’d pin Khutulun, her parents begged her to throw the match because she needed to just settle down with a nice boy already! Khutulun agreed . . . until she heard the bell and looked that smug dude right in his smug dude eyes, at which point animal instinct took over and Khutulun did what she did best: She threw him to the GROUND.” Cue: The Lonely Island's Threw It On The Ground. • Friederike "Marm" Mandelbaum: 1818–1894, United States New York’s Queen of Thieves This unheard of Queen of Thieves who ruled the criminal underworld of Gilded Age New York City was a true surprise for me. “They call me Marm because I give them money and horses and diamonds,” she said, which are the essentials I, too, expect from my mother. • Juliette Gordon Low: 1860–1927, United States Founder of the Girl Scouts This entry screamed for a reference to be made to the Pawnee Goddesses from Parks and Recreation (which I did a whole book tag about). And thankfully Mackenzi Lee delivered at the very end with this closing line: “Hear her womanly roar.” • Emmy Noether: 1882–1935, Germany Theoretically, the Most Important Woman in Physics “When Einstein calls you the most significant and creative woman in the history of mathematics, you can probably call it a day and go home.” It seems appropriate to note that with this entry I came to see the unshakable commitment to bringing the most color and vibrancy out of these historical women. And it was a delight to discover this time and again in this gorgeously illustrated compendium. Oh, but before I leave I have to include a few other phrases I got a good laugh at, such as giving Irena Sendler's dog a WeRateDogs™ worthy rate (“12/10, would pet.”), using the infamous *record scratch* in Sarah Breedlove's entry, and comparing Kumander Liwayway's childhood to that of “a Disney Channel teenager.” There's so much more I'd like to share, but calling it a day on this note seems like a fine endpoint. Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Bygone Badass Broads, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission! Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with Ko-fi.com/bookspoils This review and more can be found on my blog.

  3. 5 out of 5

    emma

    I have read books like this one, and this was not my favorite. Recently, a whole bunch of Feminist Anthologies Of Badass Women In History have come out. They always have pretty art, and they always try to be funny, and they usually have the same lineup of women with a few newbies in each one. The first book I read like this was Brazen, which was the f*cking best. The art is beautiful, and the writer is knowledgeable, and it’s all around a meaningful fun aesthetically pleasing empowerment-fest. Then I have read books like this one, and this was not my favorite. Recently, a whole bunch of Feminist Anthologies Of Badass Women In History have come out. They always have pretty art, and they always try to be funny, and they usually have the same lineup of women with a few newbies in each one. The first book I read like this was Brazen, which was the f*cking best. The art is beautiful, and the writer is knowledgeable, and it’s all around a meaningful fun aesthetically pleasing empowerment-fest. Then I followed that up with The Little Book of Feminist Saints, which was also good, mainly because the title is awesome and the art is also reallyreally pretty. And then I read this one. The art is still pretty, but...that’s about the nicest thing I can say. The whole tone of this is...how can I put this...like that one person on a politician’s social media team who’s always insisting on trying to use memes to get a political message across, and it just never works and is always cringy. This book uses a ton of Tumblr-y outdated try-to-relate-to-the-teens slang in an attempt to seem, I assume, witty and amusing and charming, and instead it seems really condescending to these amazing women. It feels like making a mockery of the suffering and labor and pain of these people, and that’s the complete opposite of what this is supposed to do. (It's also the same thing Wonder Women did.) The only other nice thing I can say is that this includes Isabella Stewart Gardner, my favorite person ever, in history, living or dead, and a true goddamn saint. Bottom line: What I recommend is this: Look at this cover for a few minutes, Google Isabella Stewart Gardner, and then read Brazen instead. ----------- pre-review FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, I FORGOT TO MARK A BOOK AS READ ON GOODREADS. ...Who am I?? What have I become? review to come, once I get some mild existential crises done with (1.5 stars) ----------- Starting off the new year the way I basically spent the entire last one: By reading a gorgeously illustrated anthology of powerful women in history. We stan.

  4. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    *4.5 stars* Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Inge

    If someone ever tells you that you "fight like a girl", you better believe that's a damn compliment. These ladies were fierce. Not just physically, but politically, socially, intellectually. Badass broads indeed. What a great and interesting read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This is kind of a new experience for me, reading non-fiction books is not really my thing, until NOW. This is a book comprised of inspiring women throughout history who somehow did not get enough public attention, and to me, it is amazing that this book did its job well, giving the rightful dedication to all these wonderful ladies. They should all be hailed and remembered for their amazing doings throughout history. And my reaction throughout this book? Might as well be summarized with these two w This is kind of a new experience for me, reading non-fiction books is not really my thing, until NOW. This is a book comprised of inspiring women throughout history who somehow did not get enough public attention, and to me, it is amazing that this book did its job well, giving the rightful dedication to all these wonderful ladies. They should all be hailed and remembered for their amazing doings throughout history. And my reaction throughout this book? Might as well be summarized with these two words:

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gemma ♕ antari.with.a.book

    This book is fantastic. It was funny, thought provoking, informative and when I finished it I felt fucking empowered. All these women are awesome in their own right, strong females in every sense of the word. They are fighters, both on battlefields and off. They are trailblazers. They achieved amazing things in their fields often in the face of men telling them to get back in the kitchen. You know what though? There are some men behind some of these women that are examples of what good men are. This book is fantastic. It was funny, thought provoking, informative and when I finished it I felt fucking empowered. All these women are awesome in their own right, strong females in every sense of the word. They are fighters, both on battlefields and off. They are trailblazers. They achieved amazing things in their fields often in the face of men telling them to get back in the kitchen. You know what though? There are some men behind some of these women that are examples of what good men are. They look at these women as equals, they are supportive, they stand up for them in times when a man's voice was worth so much more than a woman's. Of course this book is also full of dickbags that wanted to hold women down because they're dickbags. But let's focus on the Badass Broads that stomped all over them, let's circulate this book so that a generation of young women have a whole new sea of historical figures to research and write about in history papers for years to come, a whole new pool of inspirational idols and heroines. Everyone should read this. Everyone. There are women in history that we know nothing about that did crazy amazing things. It's about time their stories were heard. Well done Mackenzie Lee you absolutely legend.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    For the most part, I enjoyed this. I hadn't heard of the majority of the women so it was great gaining knowledge for the first time instead of reiterating it. [For example: I personally owe so much to Ursula Nordstrom because without her CHARLOTTE'S WEB wouldn't have existed.) The amount of diversity is wonderful. The artwork is stunningly gorgeous & makes it worth checking out for that alone. But besides that, I had qualms that kept it from being a 5* read. When I'm reading nonfiction I appreci For the most part, I enjoyed this. I hadn't heard of the majority of the women so it was great gaining knowledge for the first time instead of reiterating it. [For example: I personally owe so much to Ursula Nordstrom because without her CHARLOTTE'S WEB wouldn't have existed.) The amount of diversity is wonderful. The artwork is stunningly gorgeous & makes it worth checking out for that alone. But besides that, I had qualms that kept it from being a 5* read. When I'm reading nonfiction I appreciate the author leaving out their personal opinions. That didn't happen here. BYGONE BADASS BROADS is so heavily biased it's difficult to finish without choking on eye rolls. I'm not trying to diminish the accomplishments of these women but this book seriously makes it sound like men were the cause root of every problem, save for a couple "good ones." There also weren't any facts to back up these theories; I would have liked to draw conclusions for myself rather than be told what feelings I should have for someone. Granted, I haven't been paying attention to Lee's Twitter feed (which this is based off), but this just seems like one big rant & it's discouraging because these are such powerful women, why not show that through powerful writing that displays actions, not emotions. This isn't a contemporary. Would still recommend, but I hope more books come out like this without being bogged down by opinions I honestly couldn't care less about.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I know this book is basically a published version of Lee's Twitter feed, which I wasn't aware of going in, but it unfortunately reads as about as polished as any Twitter thread. I read this hoping to learn about some brilliant women who impacted history, but Lee's colloquial, pop culture-littered writing style was unbearably distracting. I think there's a huge difference between lightening the density that can be found in a lot of nonfiction or history books with jokes and disregarding the histor I know this book is basically a published version of Lee's Twitter feed, which I wasn't aware of going in, but it unfortunately reads as about as polished as any Twitter thread. I read this hoping to learn about some brilliant women who impacted history, but Lee's colloquial, pop culture-littered writing style was unbearably distracting. I think there's a huge difference between lightening the density that can be found in a lot of nonfiction or history books with jokes and disregarding the historical context of the lives of these brilliant women to interject with stupid phrases like 'yaaaaas kweeeen' and acronyms like DNGAF and TL;DR every other paragraph. I almost think this style of writing is disrespectful to both the reader (talking down to the audience) and the women she's talking about. It's like this weird wink-wink-nudge-nudge style of writing that seems to think it's really amusing but is just not my jam. The bios of the women were barely a few pages each, leaving me not feeling like I got much out of this read. I absolutely want to learn more about many of these ladies, but presented in a different format.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lia

    Just imagine if I got to learn about all these amazing women in my high school history class, maybe then I would have actually enjoyed them. It's so sad that all these amazing women are just forgotten. Some saved thousands of lives and some revolutionized science or any other field, and some were just extraordinary at what they did, but time and time again, men have taken credit and/or glory, while these women have gotten lost in history.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I struggle with rating this one because, on the one hand, I really like the idea of it. The 51 women in this volume cover a range of eras and experiences and most definitely deserve the title 'badass.' It is fun to see them all in one place and sort of glory in their combined epicness. On the other hand, I had a lot of problems with this book, not the least of which is that it just isn't interesting. I forced myself through most of it. Despite (perhaps because of?) the bantering language, it jus I struggle with rating this one because, on the one hand, I really like the idea of it. The 51 women in this volume cover a range of eras and experiences and most definitely deserve the title 'badass.' It is fun to see them all in one place and sort of glory in their combined epicness. On the other hand, I had a lot of problems with this book, not the least of which is that it just isn't interesting. I forced myself through most of it. Despite (perhaps because of?) the bantering language, it just isn't a smooth read. It frequently feels disjointed. At any rate, I never really looked forward to picking it up again. But here are some other, more specific problems I had a whole: 1. The modern, 'woke' language and forced slang completely undermines how truly badass these women were. The author tries to be super trendy and it comes across like a slap in the face. I wish I could give an exact quote, but I already returned this one to the library. So here is what it sounds like: So and so was a 62 year old woman who wanted to lead a rebellion after an evil dictator murdered her son, but no one thought she'd make a good general. Because sexism is the worst. She then formed a rebellion anyway that survived six months before getting annihilated. ... Is sexism the worst? Well, that is a whole other can of worms we can discuss later. But these women did amazing things and overcame crazy odds and the author's main comment is usually some version of patriarchy/sexism/racism/American history is the worst. Such sweeping statements undervalue the true achievements of these women and minimize the circumstances they faced. 2. The author undermines the feminine experience by constantly stressing how these women 'fought the patriarchy'/gender norms/etc. in their society. Now obviously, there is an entire conversation that could be had about gender norms and the opportunities available to these women compared to their male counterparts. I don't want to minimize that. But, by constantly comparing these women to the males of their time, the author ignores the unique motivation and experience that guided them. She lightly names the scarring, emotional experiences that drove some of these women to do what they did (murdered family members, tortured fathers, lost husbands) and instead acts like they fought for some universal girlhood. There is so much richness in each story and what motivated each woman to defy her times. And I understand that in a page or two, it is nigh impossible to truly express that motivation. But to minimize it like she does is to truly minimize what these women lived and fought for. 3. Most of the females portrayed win the glory for assuming traditionally male roles. Again, different conversation about whether this is good or not, and I appreciate that the author does make an attempt to balance the stories of women warriors and pharaohs with women dancers and...well, mostly dancers. And also, who doesn't want to hear about the awesome Mongol woman who promised to marry the man who beat her in wrestling...and then promptly beat every man who tried? It makes a great story. But again, the author tries so hard to highlight how these women stacked up to the patriarchy/males around them that all that seems to remain is the comparison. Take Sybil Ludington, the female Paul Revere and a personal favorite of high school Amy. By constantly making snide comments about how much farther she rode and how much more effective she was than Paul Revere, the main takeaway I got was that Paul Revere wasn't as badass as I was taught. Not that Sybil Ludington is a super cool person worth learning more about. I could go on but I think my complaints would sound repetitious after a while. While I admire the author's efforts to bring more female representation to the history books, I find her manner of doing it immensely frustrating and sorely lacking.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marta :}

    You can read my review on my blog as well (for better formatting, lol) - here I really loved this book, I especially adored how inclusive it was. If you’re worried that this book might have white feminism plastered all over it, I’m here to ease your worries, it’s very intersectional. The illustrations were breath-taking and the stories were funny, very girl-power-y and at the end, you really wanted to discover more about those women who had been forgotten. I think Mackenzi Lee did a great job with You can read my review on my blog as well (for better formatting, lol) - here I really loved this book, I especially adored how inclusive it was. If you’re worried that this book might have white feminism plastered all over it, I’m here to ease your worries, it’s very intersectional. The illustrations were breath-taking and the stories were funny, very girl-power-y and at the end, you really wanted to discover more about those women who had been forgotten. I think Mackenzi Lee did a great job with the research for this book, her stories for each woman were detailed enough to give you a clear image of her life, even when there weren’t enough information, Lee gave us her own hypothesises and it was really well done. This book also made me interested in making my own research about so many interesting historical figures, that I had no idea about prior to reading it. It had a lot of sexism included since these women that were discussed had been smashing the patriarchy left and right. So, be careful at that, you’re going to be frustrated a lot at all these ladies having their authorities undermined again and again because they were born with a vagina. There were also some bookish ladies that were mentioned, which made me incredibly happy because who doesn’t love to read about fellow bookworms that changed the world??? What I loved the most about this book was how it really made you beam at all those women who accomplished so many things and then also be so angry at our society for forgetting them, for letting men claim their accomplishments instead or minimize their importance in history. It also made you feel like you could one day become a badass broad yourself. Because us, girls, we have so much potential, we’re so damn powerful and this book really inspired this feeling in me. I think you all need to read this book because it’s absolutely lovely with all these stories of women who lead their countries to war, who created art, who were brave and inventive and dared to change the world. I’ve read similar books before and I would say that if you want a fast read about feminism, with illustrations and strong women who kick ass, you should choose this one because it’s witty, the stories are not too short to make you feel like you’re not getting all the information needed, nor too long if you’re an impatient person who doesn’t read a lot of nonfiction. SOME OF MY FAVOURITE BADASS BROADS Hatshepsut, who was Egypt’s First Femal Pharaoh – wanna thank Abrams for sending me a pin that represents her because she was one of my favourites. She was so powerful and it was so heartbreaking that her stepson took all credit for everything she did. Queen Arawelo, her story is full of changing everything about the patriarchy. Under her dominion, women took charge of Somalia and men stayed home, cleaned and took care of the children. Hail Queen smashing the ‘tradition roles’ (yikes). Khutulun – this girl promised to marry the person who won a wrestling match against her (spoiler : no one won because she was super BADASS, I want to be her). Sayyida Al-Hurra – PIRATE QUEEN, THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY. Julie D’Aubigny – La Maupin – my bisexual queen who had too many hobbies to mention, but she is absolutely amazing (she was a swordswoman, a opera singer) and more, really I just selected some from the first 50 pages. this whole book is full of amazing women. just go and read it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    royaevereads

    This book absolutely fascinated me - it accounts the incredible lives of a hugely diverse range of women. The art is beautiful and, just as I anticipated, Lee’s writing style is so witty and fun, making these women stand out as characters who I can’t get enough of. Full review to come on my channel soon :) Thank you to Abrams Books for sending me a copy for review. All opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vernie♡

    Oh man I am so ready for this.

  15. 5 out of 5

    prag ♻

    i love women

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christine Spoors

    I've been excited about this book since Lee announced it and it definitely didn't disappoint. I don't ever recall hearing about any of these 52 wonderful women before reading this book, so I learned a lot! I think Lee did a good job at picking women from around the world to write about, it was also great to see gay women and even a transgender woman written about. I really hope that Lee and Abrams bring out a second book of Bygone Badass Broads in the future! The illustrations by Petra Eriksson w I've been excited about this book since Lee announced it and it definitely didn't disappoint. I don't ever recall hearing about any of these 52 wonderful women before reading this book, so I learned a lot! I think Lee did a good job at picking women from around the world to write about, it was also great to see gay women and even a transgender woman written about. I really hope that Lee and Abrams bring out a second book of Bygone Badass Broads in the future! The illustrations by Petra Eriksson were absolutely gorgeous and I love the colour scheme used throughout this book. I loved flicking through to see how each of the women were illustrated before reading about them. Is it weird to say that this book also smells amazing? It must be the paper they used, but it reminds me of new pencils and new stationery, like the start of the school year. Going into this book I expected there to be a little more information about each of the women. I quite like slang in books, but at times there was so much (I think American slang?) that I would have been clueless if I didn't use Twitter. It's written by an American author & published by an American publisher so it makes sense that so much slang is used for an American audience, I just felt like at times it meant that we got a lot less information about the women.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    This book was so inspiring, and included so many of my fave historical figures and many more that I’ve never heard of. Working in a bookshop means I’ve seen so many of these beautiful new books that highlight the achievements of historical women, and I love the trend, but this has been my favourite so far. Lee makes a point to talk about women who weren’t white/straight/cis because they have been especially forgotten, and reading about them was a joy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    4.5 stars, feeding my hunger for inspirational women of note in history after Rachel Ignotofsky's Women in Science and Sports books. I docked half a star only because it frankly needed a wee bit more copyediting. But on the whole, lovely and outspokenly anti-patriarchal establishment, exactly what I expected.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Avery (Book Deviant)

    full review to come but... sigh. it was really good, i normally would have given it 4.5 or even 5 stars, if not for the multiple transphobic (& enby phobic) lines that were riddled throughout. it was hard to read because of those lines. still might lower my rating to 2 stars, i just have to think about it:(( full review to come but... sigh. it was really good, i normally would have given it 4.5 or even 5 stars, if not for the multiple transphobic (& enby phobic) lines that were riddled throughout. it was hard to read because of those lines. still might lower my rating to 2 stars, i just have to think about it:((

  20. 5 out of 5

    andreea. (paperrcuts)

    Damn. Women are great.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Greyson | Use Your Words

    Historical badass ladies made me gay.

  22. 4 out of 5

    thepessimisticreader

    The women featured in this book truly did change society and impact feminism. Many of the women in this book are homosexual, one is a transgender woman, many are women of colour, indigenous women, educated women, women from poor economic backgrounds. There is a role model for everyone, whether you aspire to be a dancer, a chef, a teacher, a scientist, or a writer. These women are empowering. I had not even heard of 49/52 of the women I learned about reading this. Props to the author for that. The The women featured in this book truly did change society and impact feminism. Many of the women in this book are homosexual, one is a transgender woman, many are women of colour, indigenous women, educated women, women from poor economic backgrounds. There is a role model for everyone, whether you aspire to be a dancer, a chef, a teacher, a scientist, or a writer. These women are empowering. I had not even heard of 49/52 of the women I learned about reading this. Props to the author for that. The artwork was what drew me in and the courageous women featured in the book held me. But I did not like anything else about this book. The writing was whimsical, and tried to be humorous. It was informal and sounded exactly like how it started: a ranty Twitter account. This book likes to blame men for everything. While men did start these wars, stifle these women's creativity, and treat them as secondhand citizens, I didn't want to read a book that treated history in such a generalized, pass-the-blame type way. There are hundreds of reasons why women's lives have sucked for thousands of years and men are not the root to every single one of them. Poverty, racism, and mental illness to name a few. I don't want to read about how a sexist dictator was a jerk, I want to know what his policies were, I want to draw conclusions for myself. Even if the bias still leaned toward making men into villains, make them into more than "jerks." There were only a handful of times when a man was not made out as the bad guy or an "uncool dude." This book makes trivial comments that are personal to the author, that I do not agree should be placed in a book that is trying to educate you about something. I didn't realize a book with so much personal bias could even be published these days. It was an interesting book that just didn't hit the mark for me. I hope everyone else who reads it enjoys it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lady H

    Literally why are there so many films and TV shows about crusty white men when all these women exist?? I mean I always knew women were awesome and that we had of course been part of history, but some of the women in this book are just so unbelievably awesome, particularly for the time in which they lived. Nearly every single woman in this book should have her own TV show. This was such a blast to read. → the look ← Since this is an illustrated coffee-table type book, I have to mention how it looks Literally why are there so many films and TV shows about crusty white men when all these women exist?? I mean I always knew women were awesome and that we had of course been part of history, but some of the women in this book are just so unbelievably awesome, particularly for the time in which they lived. Nearly every single woman in this book should have her own TV show. This was such a blast to read. → the look ← Since this is an illustrated coffee-table type book, I have to mention how it looks. This book is beautifully designed. Also, I want to commission the illustrator, Petra Eriksson, to paint my portrait. The portraits of the women in this book are so colorful and quirky, cartoonish but still so unique. The pages are in various, easy-to-read colors and everything is just so aesthetically pleasing. This is a damn good-looking book. → the delivery← Mackenzi Lee is freaking hilarious. I mean, a book like this could have been dry, but not with Mackenzi's spicy narration! She's so funny she literally had me laughing at loud. Plus, she peppers the entries with modern slang and pop culture references. It's both a super informal and a super engaging style and I think it's what makes this book different from others of its ilk. → the content ← First, I gotta say - as a history nerd, I loved the tiny historical details included in this! It really brought these women to life. Clearly this is excellently researched, and there's even a lengthy bibliography at the end of the book if you're inclined to read more about some of the women. Mackenzi does a good job of not focusing on just white women, or even just Western women. There is an impressive amount of diversity here in terms of race and sexuality. That said, I wish that there had been more Middle Eastern/North African women included. This is totally a personal thing, given my background. This volume had entries on Hatsheput (a pharaoh), Fatima Al-Fihri (founded the first university in Morocco), and Sayyida al-Hurra (Moroccan pirate). But at least one more entry about a MENA women who lived post-16th century might have been lovely, particularly given the stereotypes MENA women deal with today about being submissive. This isn't really a complaint about the book, but just a personal preference I wish had been realized. And hey, if y'all know of any books like this that highlight MENA women, let me know! Anyway, this book is fantastic and is already inspiring a gazillion historical fiction and fantasy stories on my part. I might actually buy this book just to have these entries on hand for reference.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book was a great compendium of women from around the world who've made a difference. Like Lee acknowledged in her introduction, "many of the women [she] chose to highlight...[were] morally complex. They are sometimes violent, ruthless, and downright criminal." As a history major, I would have expected to have been familiar with at least some of these women but that wasn't the case. Lee made it more exciting because she highlighted lesser known women that often never made it to the history b This book was a great compendium of women from around the world who've made a difference. Like Lee acknowledged in her introduction, "many of the women [she] chose to highlight...[were] morally complex. They are sometimes violent, ruthless, and downright criminal." As a history major, I would have expected to have been familiar with at least some of these women but that wasn't the case. Lee made it more exciting because she highlighted lesser known women that often never made it to the history books. Lee's spotlight wit is what really sold the book for me. Her commentary toward the people (mostly men) who were foils to our heroines, was cutting and superb. Ericksson's lovely illustrations were beautifully colored and served as an awesome addition that perfectly complimented the text. My only critique is Lee's obvious bias in retelling the stories of the women's lives. Lee is no historian and she made no attempt to be impartial or refrain from commentary when detailing the events occurring within the lives of the women in her book. Her criticism was aimed at anyone who doesn't share the same 21st century political and moral worldview as her, calling any dissenters small minded. I give less weight to biographies that insert personal opinions with recorded fact. As a side note, if you choose to read this book in conjunction with Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History, you'll be happy to know that only one woman overlapped in both books, so no much in either book may be old hat to you. I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about women's hidden contributions worldwide.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Clemlucian (🏳️‍🌈the villain's quest)

    theme thief bookclub pick of the month Rating: 3 stars. The problem is that I read a lot of non-fiction feminist/LGBTQ+ mini-biographies like this one so I already knew most of the women presented in here, and while I didn't think it was mindblowing, Bygone Badass Broads was still a good (if not great) collection of stories. The writing style is my favorite thing about it, it's funny and perfect for night stories. The pictures are beautiful, and the women chosen are still underrated and unknown to theme thief bookclub pick of the month Rating: 3 stars. The problem is that I read a lot of non-fiction feminist/LGBTQ+ mini-biographies like this one so I already knew most of the women presented in here, and while I didn't think it was mindblowing, Bygone Badass Broads was still a good (if not great) collection of stories. The writing style is my favorite thing about it, it's funny and perfect for night stories. The pictures are beautiful, and the women chosen are still underrated and unknown to most. The reason I gave it three stars is because I didn't particularly enjoy it as I knew most women presented and because most of them were still American women whereas our African and Asian counterparts aren't as historically popular. I guess I was just expecting more diversity.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    Here's another great pick for Women's History Month: "Bygone Badass Broads." Not only does this book have a fabulous title but it has a great premise. Author Mackenzi Lee started a feature on Twitter to talk about all of these fantastic women from history that many don't know much (or anything!!!) about. History unfortunately has focused on white men. Lee is trying to get the stories of the amazing women that came before us out into the world and this book helps her do that! I love history but am Here's another great pick for Women's History Month: "Bygone Badass Broads." Not only does this book have a fabulous title but it has a great premise. Author Mackenzi Lee started a feature on Twitter to talk about all of these fantastic women from history that many don't know much (or anything!!!) about. History unfortunately has focused on white men. Lee is trying to get the stories of the amazing women that came before us out into the world and this book helps her do that! I love history but am always very frustrated how one-sided it is. There are so many people out there that did wonderful things but because of what they were or who they were, we know very little about them and you won't find them in a standard history class. It's sad but luckily there are books like this one that want to change that. This book covers the gamut of politicians, inventors, rabble rousers, and many more who contributed something awesome to this world we live in. Lee doesn't give us a boring account of facts and figures. No, she gives readers thoroughly entertaining and memorable stories. I found myself wondering over and over again about why the women in this book weren't more well known. I also found myself appreciating that there are people out there who want to spread the word about them!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maissa Daas

    First things first these were my favorite 6 stories from the book : Emily Warren Roebling Sayyida al-hurra Fatima al Fihri Emmy Noether Alice Ball Annie Jump Canon I loved the idea of bringing women from diffrent times and backgrounds together in one book. Most of the stories were interesting and they introduced me to ladies that i've never heard of before and that I would love to know more about their lives , yet I had a problem with other stories ; I questioned " do they really fall under the categ First things first these were my favorite 6 stories from the book : Emily Warren Roebling Sayyida al-hurra Fatima al Fihri Emmy Noether Alice Ball Annie Jump Canon I loved the idea of bringing women from diffrent times and backgrounds together in one book. Most of the stories were interesting and they introduced me to ladies that i've never heard of before and that I would love to know more about their lives , yet I had a problem with other stories ; I questioned " do they really fall under the category of -changed the world-?" The book was funny ,I think the writer's sense of humor made history lighter especially for people who don't like reading non-fiction ( many people complained about the use of slang and informal language but personally I had no issue with that) Finally , Petra Eriksson did an amazing job ,the illustrations are brilliant .

  28. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Quick, bite-sized pieces on awesome women from history that most people haven't heard of. Feminist. Intersectional. Approachable. Colloquial. And tons of fandom references (i.e. Avatar the Last Airbender and Parks and Rec)

  29. 4 out of 5

    jess ❈

    this collection was really good! i know you're probably seeing the three star and giving the thinking emoji. like i enjoyed it, but i don't read a lot of nonfiction so it didn't really stick with me. i can't tell if it's because i'm not feeling that great mentally or if the events just went in one ear and out the other. each chapter was so quick, and i know i listened on 2x speed but even so, it felt like there could have been more for each woman? all these women are amazing and i feel like they this collection was really good! i know you're probably seeing the three star and giving the thinking emoji. like i enjoyed it, but i don't read a lot of nonfiction so it didn't really stick with me. i can't tell if it's because i'm not feeling that great mentally or if the events just went in one ear and out the other. each chapter was so quick, and i know i listened on 2x speed but even so, it felt like there could have been more for each woman? all these women are amazing and i feel like they should be taught about in school! it's definitely something i'd want to own physically so when / if i ever have children, i could use it as an educational tool. recommend to everyone!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Layla

    Julie d'Aubigny (Bisexual Swordswoman, Opera Singer, Hell-Raiser) was definitely my favorite. The book was empowering and I was never bored once reading it. Thanks Edie!

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