I enjoyed reading this
book by Gail Collins, who’s one of the New York Times
columnists I read regularly. It’s not so much a comprehensive scholarly history, as
a collection of the stories about women’s issues in the last
century. They’re well-told. And even if you lived through it
all, you’ve probably forgotten even some of the good ones.
Of course, if you lived through it, you probably have your own
stories that are as good as plenty of these. I kept thinking
about the time (probably in the mid-70’s) I didn’t get a job I was interviewed for, and the
person who did get it was a married woman. My mother was
incensed, because she thought I should have had priority over
someone with a husband to take care of her.
Another good part is that Ms Collins
followed up on what happened to the characters in the stories. So
a woman who in the 50’s was famous for having been able to iron a
shirt in 12 minutes was interviewed in the assisted living
facility and said she only owned one skirt, because she wears
pants everywhere these days. And she gets both Gloria
Steinem’s and Phyllis Schlafly’s reactions to Sarah Palin.
Most of my ebook reading has been fiction. Terry Pratchett
does put footnotes in his fiction, and the most recent one I
bought did the right thing about making the footnotes links.
This Adobe epub book does even better and has a link back from
the footnote to the place in the text where it occurs.
Unfortunately, when you move to the link, it doesn’t appear at the
top of the screen, so you have to scan the whole page to find the
footnote you were looking for.
Another annoyance was that the page numbers (unnecessary,
because they’re redundant to the Adobe Digital Editions display at
the top of the window) obscure some of the text.
The illustrations came out very well. They were all at the end
of the book, with no links between them and the text that refers
to the same subject. This is probably similar to the dead tree
book, but it’s a place where an ebook could provide some value
added. And flipping between different sections of an ebook is a
bit more difficult than with a dead tree book, so publishers
should be thinking about these things.
But on the whole, I’m glad I was able to take this out of the
library as an ebook, even though I wish someone would crack the
Adobe epub format so that I could have read it in more comfort.