* Funded by English PEN and the Goethe Institut *
By Kerstin Lücker and Ute Daenschel, illustrated by Natsko Seki, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Jessica West
Published in the UK by The History Press, September 2019
Not just another collection of short biographies, this book adds women’s stories to the wider context of global history. Our perception of history is formed by those who record it, and traditionally it has been told by men, for men, about the achievements of men. Women were often deemed less important, their letters destroyed, their stories ignored.
This book attempts to discover some of the missing pieces of the big puzzle of world history, by examining the sources and telling women’s stories alongside men’s. It’s a history of sexism and of the ideas and assumptions that allowed misogyny to become so entrenched worldwide. Looking at the rise and fall of religions and ideas about society and how to live, it asks `have we always been patriarchal?’, and if not where and when did it all start?
This is the story of Wu Zetian, who as Chinese Emperor helped to spread Buddhism in China. This is the story of Genghis Khan’s powerful daughters, who ruled his empire for him. This is the story of Christine de Pizan, one of the earliest feminist writers. This is the story of Victoria Woodhull, who ran for president before she could even vote for one. This is the story of the world – with the women put back in.
BOOKS etc Book of the Month in November 2019
‘A History of the World with the Women Put Back In was conceived as a piece of writing for younger readers. It’s a teenage Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. Because of this, the more violent details are kept at arm’s length. But in no way did this read like a kids book to me. It’s universal.’
– Becky Hinshelwood, BOOKS etc
‘Wonderful writing (and translation!) and engaging content make this a must read for anyone interested in gender or history.’
– Chelsea Reid, Waterstones