From time to time we will review at length some special books or series of note. This, the first of those longer reviews, will replace the usual short book reviews this quarter. Women in America is a Thomas Crowell series available in hardcover ($5.50 each). Dell plans to reprint those marked with an asterisk.
Block, Irvin. The Lives of Pearl Buck: a Tale of China and America.
McKown, Robin. The World of Mary Cassatt.
*Meltzer, Milton. Tongue of Flame: the Life of Lydia Maria Child.
*Meltzer, Milton, Lawrence Lader. Margaret Sanger: Pioneer of Birth Control.
*Moore, Carman. Somebody's Angel Child: the Story of Bessie Smith.
Rogers, W. G. Gertrude Stein is Gertrude Stein is Gertrude Stein.
Scott, John Anthony. Fanny Kemble's America.
Shulman, Alix. To the Barricades: the Anarchist Life of Emma Goldman.
*Sterling, Philip. Sea and Earth: the Life of Rachel Carson.
Werstein, Irving. Labor's Defiant Lady: the Story of Mother Jones.
In the six years since the series called Women in America was developed for young readers, 18 biographies have appeared, 10 of which are reviewed here. The series is notable for its attention both to famous women and to those whose lives most of us do not know. Included are such reformers as Frances Wright, Lillian Wald, and Ida Tarbell; such revolutionaries as Emma Goldman and Mother Jones; politicians Margaret Chase Smith and Mayor Felisa Rincon de Gautier; and such writers and artists as Pearl Buck and Mary Cassatt. Still more unusual are biographies of the relatively unknown Mary Elizabeth Lease [late 19th century political lecturer and author] and Lydia Maria Child [19th century author and abolitionist]; as well as those on such women as Margaret Sanger and Gertrude Stein whose controversial lives may not (to some readers) seem suitable subjects for young people. But what makes this series especially noteworthy is its usefulness for young and adult readers both. This is the result of conscious editorial policy.