Women's history is human history. But all too often, the lives of women get left out of school textbooks. To learn about some of the most influential women from the past, you have to seek it out yourself — and it's not always easy to find. With this in mind, we decided to make things a little easier by putting together a list of history books about women by women that will offer a much needed HERstory lesson.
These books cover feminist history, queer history, and every history in between. There are books about women who changed science forever (looking at you, Henrietta Lacks!). And collections of essays by Roxane Gay and political activist Angela Davis that grapple with pop culture's effect on social change.
Some of these books delve deep into the past, like the social history of female friendship that starts with the Bible. While others tackle more recent history, like Chanel Miller's Know My Name: A Memoir, which reckons with rape culture in the age of #MeToo. We bet that a lot of these books will introduce you to someone you've never heard of before. Don't worry, it's never too late to learn about the women who've been running this world and get inspired!
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you subscribe to something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.