"Woman have been in the forefront of social reform, education, the arts, and the sciences in America's Second City. Crusading journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, social reformer Jane Addams, blues pianist Lovie Austin, arts maven Bertha Palmer, geographer Zonia Baber, Latina organizer Maria Martinez, and labor organizer Elisabeth Christman are but a few of the hundreds of women whose inspiring lives are documented in Women Building Chicago 1790-1990. The result of ten years of research and writing, this pathbreaking reference book includes individual biographies, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 words, of more than 400 women who lived in Chicago, the great metropolis of the Midwest, from 1790-1990. The majority of the biographies represent new research and are being published for the first time. They expand our understanding of the diverse ways in which women had a role in community life, the professions, and the arts from the earliest period of settlement for which we have records of women in the Chicago area. Taken as a whole, the biographies delineate the struggle for women's rights in this part of the United States and reveal the participation of women in social policy decision-making and political life long before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

A path breaking reference work that features biographies of more than 400 women who helped build modern day Chicago. 158 photos.